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Permanent Exhibition


Opium Wars Heading

After the defeat in the First Opium War, Hong Kong was ceded to Britain, marking a watershed in the history of the territory. This gallery outlines the Opium Wars, their causes, the way they unfolded and the consequences. Going back to events before the Wars, visitors can trace the discovery of the new sea route from Europe to Asia, the arrival of the Portuguese in Macao and their mercantile activities there, the institution of the 13 Hongs Guangzhou, and early Sino-British relations. To complete the events relating to the territory, the ceding of Kowloon and the loan of the New Territories to Britain are recorded. On display are two historically significant monuments : the Napier Column from the Hong Kong Cemetery and the Fountain Arch originally erected in Possession Point. To create a semblance of the actuality of war, the Bogue Forts, used by Qing soldiers to repulse the British in the First Opium War, has been reconstructed. A video inside the Forts narrates the events leading up to the war, the war itself and its aftermath, designed to give visitors a clear understanding of the First Opium War.

Name of Theatre/Video Show: From Trade to War
Duration: 10 minutes
Capacity: 90
Screened in Cantonese, Putonghua and English in rotation.

Opium Wars Map

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Local History Collection

Opium Wars Ref