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Blake Garden - Hong Kong’s first public park

Blake GardenFrom Hong Kong's macabre past rises an art and design hub in Sheung Wan, the Blake Garden.  The garden is a small urban park named after Sir Henry Arthur Blake, a former Governor of Hong Kong.

Sheung Wan was one of the most heavily affected areas when the bubonic plague ravaged Hong Kong in 1894. Thousands die in the crowded tenement district of Tai Ping Shan because of the area's dense population and severely unsanitary condition.

After the outbreak was controlled, many of the buildings were deemed unfit for human habitation so the government bought and demolished the buildings and redeveloped the area. The first structures to be built there were the Blake Garden and the Old Pathological Institute. The Blake Garden was opened in 1905, making it the first public park in Hong Kong.

At present, there are no visible signs of the tragic plague that devastated the area centuries ago except for a Commemorative Plaque in the garden and the 159-year-old Kwong Fuk Tsz Temple nearby, where residents maintain a shrine to the area’s deceased.

Aside from the park itself, Blake Garden anchors a quiet neighborhood featuring laneways, staircase streets and pedestrian-only terraces lined by low-rise buildings. The relaxed atmosphere in the area has attracted design studios, art galleries and cafés.

Blake Garden Photo Gallery

 

 

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