As one of the ancient battlefield of the Opium Wars, Weiyuan Fortress is a main position for defense in Haikou, Humen, and one of the best-preserved ancient fortresses with certain scale. Crescent-shaped in flat surface, the magnificent fortress is 6.2 meters in height, 7.6 meters in width and 360 meters in length. The bottom layer is all made of granite, while the top made of concrete, firm and soild. The fortress has 40 hidden and 4 outdoor places for cannons, which is the largest command fortress with the most cannons in Humen in the Opium Wars period. National hero Li Yanyu once commanded Shuishi naval fleet of Guang Dong Province resisting British troops’ invasion on this fortress. It was also filmed as an actual scene in the movie <<The Opium Wars>>, conducted by famous Chinese director Xiejin.
Weiyuan Fortress lies on the southwest beach in front of the south hill of Weiyuan island in Humen. Closing to the sea, it is right controlling the main waterway of the Pearl River. It is the “throat” of the Pearl River connected with Zhenyuan Fortress and Jingyuan Fortress. In the fortress there are 1 official hall, 3 temples, 12 soldier barracks, 1 health bureau and 1 pier. In the past, there was one city gate each on the east and west side of the fortress, controlling the only path on the two sides of the fortress. Strategically and precisely constructed, the fortress is facing the sea with hills for a background, and has spacious flats inside for circling.
In order to enhance the middle naval force, in the 15th year of Emperor Daoguang (1835), governor Guan Tianpei of Shuishi fleet of Guang Dong Province built Weiyuan Fortress as a major position of defense on the sea. Before the Opium Wars, the defensive system frightened British troops. However for fawning on Britain, courtier Qishan dismantled military defensive systems to open up to the outside. In the 21st year of Daoguang (1841), Weiyuan Fortress was destroyed. In the 23rd year (1843) it was rebuilt, then destroyed again on 16th Oct in the 6th year of Emperor Xianfeng (1843). Until the 8th year of Emperor Guangxu (1882), it was restored with approval of governor Zhang Shushen and mostly well preserved to the present. The Opium Wars Museum established a management center here, opening to the publisc all year long. In 1982, it was granted key national cultural heritage protection unit. You can observe the splendid Humen Bridge on Weiyuan Fortress and from naval battle museum.