Victoria Harbor has been an officially recognized part of Chinese culture and territory since as far back as 1425. The harbor would be charted in great detail during the 1800s, but it was largely utilized as part of a trade route, and for maritime games and fun. During the 1850s, Hong Kong’s first polo team played in those waters.
It was also a controversial place. Today, Victoria Harbor is known for being a center for activity. Activists have fought hard to preserve it as a place for Hong Kong culture, but there are differing viewpoints on how to do that. It was also the source of contention during the Taiping Revolution, when armed rebels marched the streets in defiance of government decrees. Were it not for British intervention, the conflict might have erupted into all out war. This was during the days when it was called “The Hong Kong Harbor”. It was renamed after Queen Victoria, when the port came under British control.
Indeed that was the case during the Arrow War, which traced its roots back to those clashes in Victoria Harbor.
The natural land formation is largely considered a bounty for the population, and there is an ongoing effort to preserve the space. One of the larger projects is Queen Victoria Park, which recently underwent a massive revamp. The space has become a gathering place for the working class to unwind after a long day. Currently, Hong Kong’s government considers the Harbor one of the most prized natural resources the country possesses.