Dr Sun Yat-sen Museum

The Dr. Sun Yat-sen Museum (CN: 孫中山紀念館) tells a story of the man who led China from the era of dynasties and monarchic rule to becoming a republic, and almost a democracy. The museum has two permanent exhibitions that present an informative overview of Dr. Sun, his life and Hong Kong’s vital role in the reform movements of the time.

The museum is open from Monday to Wednesday, Friday: 10am – 6pm. Saturday, Sunday and public holidays: 10am – 7pm. Christmas Eve and Chinese New Year’s Eve: 10am – 5pm. Admission to the museum is free.

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Wikipedia Says

Introduction

Dr Sun Yat-sen received worldwide reputation as a great revolutionary and his epoch-making career was inseparable from Hong Kong, where he attended schools and nurtured his revolutionary ideas.

From the establishment of the Xing Zhong Hui (Revive China Society) in 1894 to the founding of the Chinese Republic in 1912, Dr Sun used Hong Kong as a base of his revolutionary campaign.

His activities mainly focused in the Central and Western District, including the College of Medicine for Chinese at 81 Hollywood Road where he received his tertiary education, and Qian Heng Hang at 13 Staunton Street where he set up the headquarters of the Xing Zhong Hui.

As the district records Dr Sun’s activities and covers the Sun Yat-sen Historical Trail, the Hong Kong SAR Government selected and acquired Kom Tong Hall at 7 Castle Road as the venue of the proposed Dr Sun Yat-sen Museum.

History of Kom Tong Hall

Kom Tong Hall is a historic building at Mid Levels, Central. It was accorded a Grade II historic building status in 1990 by the Antiquities Advisory Board (AAB). It was later declared a monument.

The Hall was built in 1914. It was named after the former owner of the Mansion, Ho Kom-tong, who was a younger brother of the prominent philanthropist Sir Robert Ho Tung. The Ho family was the first Chinese family permitted to live in the Mid Levels in the early colonial period.

In 1960, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints purchased the building. The Church used the Hall for worship services and other local Church activities as well as for administration of its Asia-area humanitarian, building and other programs. As a result of Church growth, locally and throughout Asia over the last four decades, the Church’s headquarters were moved out of Kom Tong Hall and into a much larger new 14-story building on Gloucester Road in Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

The Church no longer had need for the building and was looking to sell the property. It soon became apparent that a vacant lot would yield a far higher amount than if the property were sold intact, and the Church considered demolishing the building. In October 2002, the Church submitted an application for a demolition permit to the Building Authority. However, after hearing concerns raised by friends in the community, and a series of negotiations with the Hong Kong Government, Church officials reached a consensus in selling the property intact and preserving the building.

After the Government completed the purchase in 2004, efforts began immediately to convert the 92-year-old historic mansion into a museum honoring Chinese revolutionary figure Dr Sun Yat-Sen. The converted museum was officially opened on 12 December 2006.

As a sign of appreciation from the government to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Dr Patrick Ho, Secretary for Home Affairs, arranged for the baptismal font to be preserved as a reminder to museum visitors of the Church’s 44-year part in the building’s history. In addition, a plaque on the front of the building displays the following:
“The Kom Tong Hall was the Hong Kong Headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1960 to 2004. It was well preserved, leaving behind a cultural legacy that has been made available to the people of Hong Kong.”

The retrofitted Hall has been made compatible with the Sun Yat-sen Historical Trail in its vicinity and lets the general public reminisce the activities of Dr Sun and his revolutionary comrades in their heyday.

Architecture

At this three-storey premises, the facade of the top two floors is supported by the Greek-style granite columns surrounding the curved balconies.

Inside the premises are two flights of staircases, with the one at the front for use by the Ho’s family and the one at the back for mui tsai, literally maids. Being a typical Edwardian classical building, Kom Tong Hall is majestic and magnificent, and is among the very few surviving structures in Hong Kong, dating back to the early 20th century. The stained-glass windows, veranda wall tiles and staircase railings are all preserved intact.

Other facilities

The museum has an exhibition and lecture hall, reading room, video rooms, interactive study rooms and an activity room. It also provides audio guides, school lectures, educational DVDs and travelling exhibition panels.

The museum also offers electronic guides in Cantonese, Mandarin, and English.

Source: Wikipedia

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Details

  • Website: www.lcsd.gov.hk
  • EN Address: 7 Castle Road, Central, Hong Kong Island
  • Getting There: MTR Central Station Exit D2. Walk along Queen’s Road Central and take the Central to Mid-Levels Escalator to Caine Road, then turn right and walk westwards for approximately five minutes.

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