St.John's Cathedral

Hong Kong Cathedral,  Hong Kong Attractions, Hong Kong Travel GuideSt. John's Cathedral stands in the Central district of Hong Kong Island on Garden Road, just down the hill from the Peak Tram station. It is a beautiful and oldest surviving Western ecclesiastical building in Hong Kong, and is believed to be the oldest Anglican Church in the Far East. On the 25th January 1841, as naval officers stepped ashore on a "barren island", Queen Victoria's government could not have foreseen the rapid growth of the settlement, founded in Her Majesty's name, into to-day's international city on the cross-roads of East and West. It was an era of colonial expansionism and the missionary zeal to spread Christianity was running high. Yet six years were to elapse before the foundation stone could be laid for a church for the Colony of Victoria, Hong Kong. The Cathedral Church of St. John the Evangelist is a testament to the dedication and determination of the early residents and its leaders who had begun to raise funds for a church even before they left Macau to settle in Hong Kong. The cathedral is built in a style adapted from both the 13th-century Early English and Decorated Gothic styles; construction was completed in 1849 under Bishop George Smith, first Bishop of Victoria. Due to a shortage of funds, the tower was finished a year later. It underwent an extension in 1873, the foundation stone laid by His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, and was converted into a clubhouse for the Japanese Imperial Army during the Japanese Occupation between 1942-1944, the church was used as a social club for the Japanese community. During Japanese occupation, the cathedral suffered heavy damage, which leads to its rebuilding after the Second World War. It was declared an historical monument in 1996.