Located in the middle of Hong Kong, 33,000 people lived on just 2.6 hectares

Kowloon, the city that had the highest population density record in the world

Sometimes, border agreements give rise to paradoxical situations and certainly curious places.

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This was the case in the Kowloon Walled City, located in the heart of Hong Kong. In that place, China had a military post since the Middle Ages. In 1842, when Hong Kong was ceded to the United Kingdom by China by the Treaty of Nanjing, as a result of the British victory in the First Opium War (1839-1842), the former Chinese military post on the Kowloon Peninsula -then located outside the zone ceded to the British- was reinforced by China.

Kowloon Walled City (Photo: Greg Girard/Businnes Insider).

However, in 1898, the Convention for the Extension of the Territory of Hong Kong set the limits of this British colony beyond the place occupied by the Kowloon military post, leaving it isolated from the rest of China. Although the United Kingdom finally appropriated the small walled city of Kowloon, in 1945, after the end of the Second World War, China invoked its rights over that enclosure, many refugees fleeing from the civil war between the Chinese nationalists and communists.

The interior of the Kowloon Walled City. Sunlight never reached many of the houses (Photo: Said Karlsson/Asia Times).

The United Kingdom got rid of that small territory and China too. It was the origin of a small city of about 2.6 hectares, about 210 meters long and 120 meters wide, in which some 33,000 people came to reside (although some estimates speak of 50,000). It reached the mark of the city with the highest population density in the world, with an average of 1,255,000 inhabitants per square kilometer.

A photo that allows you to appreciate the chaotic construction of Kowloon houses (Photo: The Collector).

Due to their situation, Kowloon became a lawless place, where organized crime was the one that imposed its will. In addition, the place ended up being a real health problem for Hong Kong, as well as a danger due to the risk of fire. Before the return of the British colony, the United Kingdom and communist China agreed to proceed with the demolition of the city, previously transferring its inhabitants (the latter had to be removed by force, since they did not want to leave). The Kowloon Walled City was demolished in 1993. In its place, gardens were installed that remain today.

Two weeks ago, the Neo channel posted an interesting video about that city. walled:

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