Murray House and Hong Kong Maritime Museum
Murray House is a magnificent old colonial building with columns and wide verandas, originally built in 1844 and housing a British army barracks. It was named after Sir George Murray, head of British ordnance and was originally located on the current site of the Bank of China in Central district. In 1982 the building was dismantled, cataloged and more than 4,000 granite stones and columns were put into storage until being re-erected in its present location and reopened in 2002. Standing alongside the building is a line of six columns (picture center) that were found to be surplus to requirements when the building was reassembled. Murray House now houses Hong Kong Maritime Museum and a number of restaurants.
Hong Kong Maritime Museum, on the ground floor, opened in 2005 and is divided into two galleries: ancient (picture left) and modern, depicting the history of Chinese shipping, its relations with its Western trading partners and the subsequent development of Hong Kong as a major port. Displays include replica boats, pottery models and interactive exhibits, including a replica tanker that visitors can "pilot" through Hong Kong's famous Victoria Harbour. The museum opens from 10am to 6pm every day except Monday (also closed public holidays). A small admission charge applies. Note: Following expiration of its lease, the museum is expected to close in early 2012 and reopen in its new location at Central Pier 8 (Star Ferry Pier)in Central district of Hong Kong Island in early 2013.
Restaurants include Mijas (Spanish) and Saffron (Western) on the first floor, and Wildfire, specializing in pizzas and pastas, and King Ludwig Beerhall (German) on the second floor.