Government House,Government House HongKong China
You are here: Home China Guide HongKong HongKong Attractions Government House

Government House

Located on Upper Albert Road in Central and faces Victoria Peak, the Government House of Hong Kong covers an area of 24,000 square meters (about 6 acres). The house used as the residence of the Governors of Hong Kong in the past and was a place to receive royalty and VIP guests. Of course, there are many important ceremonies in Hong Kong holding here as well, such as the annual Honor Awarding Ceremony and the Olympic Games Flag Handover Ceremony. In a word, it is very important for the Hong Kong in the past times.

It is in October 1851 that the construction began on the main building of Government House, when the eighth year after Hong Kong was invaded by British colony. The budget of the building was about 14,940 pounds. The whole construction lasted about four years and completed in October 1855. Sir John Bowing, the first Governor of Hong Kong, was the first resident. 25 out of 28 Governors lived in this great building until Hong Kong returned to China. It is Mr. Donald Tsang who become the first Chief Executive of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to move his office here in 2005 after China resumed sovereignty over Hong Kong

During the many years, the style of the building has changed many times. The main building is a combination of rich colonial features mixed with Britain and Asian styles. The reason why the style changed frequently is that whenever the owner changed, the house appearance was changed. Almost every Governor updated the house according to his preferences and needs. As a result, it became a combination of different kinds of styles.

Hong Kong was under dominated by Sir William Des Voeux in 1889, during this period, there is an annex built on the eastern side of the building for social activities. It was not completed until two years later when a passageway was added to connect the main building and the annex. The upper floor is the Ball Room, where banquets were held to receive the leaders from different nations. For a banquet, this room can hold 150 people and 300 people for a party in this room which they can enjoy themselves. Besides, there is also a dining room on the lower level. During the period of Japan controlled Hong Kong, the Central Tower was designed and built by Japanese engineer Seichih Fujimura from 1942 to 1944. Thus, decorations on the pillars were changed into a Japanese style. Moreover, traditional Japanese tatami with raised floors were built on the upper floor facing the sea. As for the British style of the building, it is Sir Alexander Grantham who is a British administer of Hong Kong, added fake ceilings, fireplaces, terraces, air-conditioning and Irish Diamond lighting fixtures. There are two sculptured stone lions placed at the entrance which is still guard the big mansion. It is also the British style of the building.

At the Government House, the most common flower you can see is azalea which was planted in 1919. The spring of the building is so beautiful for the mansion is decorated by varieties of colorful azaleas, well manicured lawns and trees forming a picturesque landscape. Since it first opened in 1968, the house has attracted many visitors every year, especially in spring when the azaleas blossom. It will not disappoint you for the picturesque scenery.

At first, Government House only opened to the public once a year. Later, we have six times to visit the house in one year. At present, every year in March or April, it was opened to visitors for free to view the blossoming azaleas. In addition to the blossoming azaleas, you could see the old buildings as well. Recently, the house is open twice a year. One time is still in spring when the azaleas blossom. Hong Kong media broadcasts the exact time and detailed information one week in advance. Income from the tickets to the Government House is donated to charity.

Government House Notes

Parking is not allowed at Government House.

1. Take Bus 3B or 12 at Central Jardine House and get off at St John's Cathedral.
2. Take Bus 23, 23A, 23B, 40, or 40M at Pacific Palace at Queens Road and get off at Hong Kong Park on Cotton Tree Road. Then, walk to St John's Cathedral and cross Garden Road to Government House.
3. Leave the Central MTR Station via Exit 7, then cross the HSBC (Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank Corporation Limited) Building and Queens Road to Garden Road. Walk along Garden Road to Upper Albert Road, and you will see Government House.