Statue Square

Admission:

Free

Hours:

24 Hours

How to get there:

Located in Central, Hong Kong Island, on Chater Road just west of the metro (Central station, Exit K). Accessible from the Star Ferry by pedestrian tunnel.

You're likely to end up in Statue Square at some point during your Hong Kong stay. The old center of town, the square is linked to the Star Ferry Terminal by an underground passage and divided by Chater Road. It earns its name from a set of statues commemorating various figures from British colonial times, though it's never been quite the same since Japan absconded with the originals during World War II, intending to melt them down for. Today, Sir Thomas Jackson Bart, chief manager of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Co. (HSBC) stands in the company of Prince Albert, Edward VII and the twin bronze lions guarding the HSBC Building. Alas, George V was never recovered (nor was he recast) and Queen Victoria moved to, fittingly, Victoria Park. The Cenotaph memorializes Commonwealth soldiers, sailors and airmen who perished fighting in the two world wars. The square is a good vantage point from which to view some of the city's signature skyscrapers. Sir Norman Foster's 1985 HSBC Building's distinctive modular-exoskeleton form towers overhead, and I.M. Pei's angular Bank of China Tower (1990) sits just to the east. Just beyond that, Paul Randoph's Lippo Center (1987) sits like a mirrored high-tech puzzle. Less recent history is represented by the place domed colonial building in the center of the square. The former Supreme Court, completed in 1898, in now houses the Legislative Council and is commonly referred to as the Legco Building—an elegant reminder of the past that more than holds its own against its towering neighbors. If you happen into the square on a Sunday, you'll likely encounter a congenial crowd of Filipino women—migrant domestic workers enjoying their day off.
 

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