Hong Kong Heritage Sites: 7 Declared Monuments Near Hotel ICON
Unbeknownst to many tourists, Kowloon is full of hidden cultural gems other than luxury brands as multiple Hong Kong monuments are scattered across the peninsula. A casual walk nearby Hotel ICON will lead you to different heritage sites that offer a new perspective on the glamorous city.
TST Heritage Site 1: Former Kowloon British School
Former Kowloon British School
Located at 136 Nathan Road, the Former Kowloon British School stands out among high-rises with its distinctive Victorian structure, coupled with wide verandas, high ceilings and pitched roofs. Originally built to cater for children of foreign residents in the early 1900s, the school itself was relocated to Ho Man Tin in 1937 and renamed King George V School in 1948. Acquiring its status as a declared monument in 1991, the site currently houses the Antiquities and Monuments Office, which is responsible for the conservation of local heritage sites. Visitors may join the free public guided tour available every Friday afternoon to admire the city's unique architectural features from the colonial era.
TST Heritage Site 3: Kowloon Union Church
Kowloon Union Church
With over ninety years of history, Kowloon Union Church was constructed at 4 Jordan Road in the early 1930s. It is an inter-denominational church which marks the early history of Christianity in the city. Full of Perpendicular Gothic features such as the pitched Chinese-tiled roof, red brick walls and granite decorations, the architectural beauty around every corner of the church will make you realise how it was listed as one of the local heritage sites in 2017. Apart from the period of the Japanese Occupation when it was turned into a horse stable, the church has not ceased serving the public since its official opening.
TST Heritage Site 5: Signal Tower at Blackhead Point
Signal Tower at Blackhead Point
Built in the 1900s, Signal Tower was located at the Signal Hill Garden. Prior to its years as one of Hong Kong’s declared monuments, it had a significant role in society – indicating the correct time to the seafarers and the public from 1908 to 1933. This was done by dropping a time ball at regular intervals. Declared a monument in 2015, Signal Tower deploys Classical Baroque design as shown by its red brick exterior and stone decorations. The structure underwent major alteration in 1927 when an additional storey was included for better time signalling to vessels. In addition to visiting the tower, visitors may also enjoy the magnificent view of Victoria Harbour on the hill.
TST Heritage Site 2: Former Marine Police Headquarters Compound
Former Marine Police Headquarters Compound
Situated at 2A Canton Road, the Former Marine Police Headquarters Compound, commonly known as 1881 Heritage, is one of the most famous Hong Kong monuments. As indicated by its name, the compound served as the headquarters for the marine police from 1884 to 1996. Consisting of the Main Building, Stable Block, Time Ball Tower, Old Kowloon Fire Station and Fire Station Accommodation Block, the compound was declared a monument in 1994. Since the early 2000s, it has been rebranded as a cultural and shopping landmark with numerous high-end shops and splendid restaurants. Visitors may also go to the Heritage Hall to see the full picture of the site’s history.
TST Heritage Site 4: Maryknoll Convent School
Maryknoll Convent School
Initially founded as a kindergarten in 1925, Maryknoll Convent School settled down at 130 Waterloo Road in the 1930s and has been providing education to the local community until today. Becoming one of the declared monuments of Hong Kong in 2008, the school has maintained its original structure under careful conservation. The main building adopts several architectural styles, such as Art Deco, Romanesque and Neo-Georgian, making it an important landmark in Kowloon Tong and one of the most prominent school campuses in Hong Kong. Other than the main building, the school also includes unsurpassed landscape gardens which contribute to the scholastic ambience of the campus.
TST Heritage Site 6: Former Kowloon-Canton Railway Clock Tower
Former Kowloon-Canton Railway Clock Tower
An easily noticeable landmark along the Tsim Sha Tsui promenade, the Former Kowloon-Canton Railway Clock Tower was built in the 1910s and symbolises the early development of the railways. It was left in the original site when the terminus was relocated to Hung Hom in 1978 and the tower became one of the city’s official heritage sites in 1990. The Edwardian Classical Revival architectural style is reflected in the red brick walls held within the granite edges, with a lightning rod placed on top of the belfry. Today the clock tower is surrounded by shopping malls, museums and hotels, constituting the hustle and bustle of Tsim Sha Tsui.
TST HERITAGE SITE 7: HONG KONG OBSERVATORY
Hong Kong Observatory
Built at 134A Nathan Road in 1883, Hong Kong Observatory was established to relay information to the marine transport industry for business development of the city. The building was recognised as one of Hong Kong’s heritage sites a century later in 1984, and has remained in service until the present. The two-storey plastered brick structure on the hill, later known as the 1883 building, features arched windows and long verandas from Victorian-Colonial architecture. Currently, the operational units of the department have been placed in new offices nearby, while the original structure stays at the same spot and acts as the administration centre of the Observatory.
Local heritage sites are one of the best doorways to getting to know the city and its history. Well connected to our neighbourhood, our concierge team is happy to recommend suitable sightseeing routes to guests who share our passion for local culture and heritage.