3 Photos That Show Hong Kong's Dramatic Transformation Over 100 Years

As pro-democracy protests continue to erupt in Hong Kong, take a look at how the island has transformed over the last century.

This photo of Hong Kong’s harbor was taken between 1910 and 1915, from what is now known as Victoria’s Peak, while the island was under British colonial rule. The island started out as a fishing village, and later became a center of trade before exploding into a commercial and financial center.

The photo below, from 1972, shows the same view from Victoria’s Peak to the center of Hong Kong and across the harbor to Kowloon. After a brief occupation by the Japanese during World War II, Britain regained control of the island. The highrise buildings in central Hong Kong housed hotels, banks, and businesses.

The photo below was taken in 2011, and shows modern day Hong Kong, one of the busiest, most cosmopolitan urban centres on the planet. The island was returned to China in 1997, and is currently in the midst of a massive protest over what residents see as an attempt from Beijing to limit democracy by placing restrictions on who can run for the island’s top office.

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