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Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence - A Formidable Fortress Turned into a Remarkable Museum

Hong Kong Museum of Coastal DefenceThe Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence is a museum in Hong Kong showcasing the city's 600-year history of coastal defence. It is housed in the former Lei Yue Mun Fort, a formidable fortress built by the British in 1887 to protect the island against invasions from the east.

The fort also became an important battlefield during the Battle for Hong Kong in 1941. After the war, the fort became a training ground for the British Forces until it was finally vacated in 1987.

The museum is divided into three main areas, namely the Redoubt where the Permanent Exhibition Galleries are displayed, the Special Exhibitions in the upper galleries and the Historical Trail outside the museum.

The fort's original casemates were transformed into exhibition galleries which now house the museum's permanent displays. Entitled 600 Years of Coastal Defence, the permanent exhibition showcases an interesting collection of military memorabilia covering the past 600 years of Hong Kong's military history, including relics and artifacts from the Ming period (1368–1644), British period, Japanese Occupation and the period after the resumption of Chinese sovereignty over Hong Kong.

Two more permanent exhibitions are displayed in the upper galleries, the Cost of War and Coastal Defence Weapon Theatre. Special and temporary exhibitions are also displayed in the upper galleries, also called the Thematic Exhibition Gallery.

Scattered around the headland upon which the Lei Yue Mun Fort sits are numerous military relics which have been restored and turned into a Historical Trail which provides visitors a glimpse of the fort's formidable military strength centuries ago.  Part of the Historical Trail are the ammunition stores, caponiers, batteries, torpedo station, military vehicles and gun powder factory.

The Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence is located at 175 Tung Hei Road, Shau Kei Wan in Hong Kong Island. It can be reached by taking the MTR to Shau Kei Wan Station, Exit B2. Then walk for around 15 minutes.

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