Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Tianjin

When Britain made South Africa a country by force, each of the preceding countries bar Natal (which got cash) was given a Capital. SA has three Capitals... Pretoria is where the Executive sits, Bloemfontein where the Judiciary sits, and Parliament is in Cape Town. Pretoria and Johannesburg are not the same city... but you wouldn't know it on the 60km drive. In China, Beijing is the Capital but just 130km away is Tianjin - also one of the biggest cities in the world with over 15 million people. In 1856, officials suspected a ship was engaged in piracy and dealing opium. They boarded and arrested 12 men. In response the British and French sent gunboats. The resulting "Opium Wars" allowed Britain to continue trading, but according to their rules rather than those of local authorities. Along with opening up to trade, the city also has numerous European style buildings in the concession areas. Architectural reminders of their rule in the form of Churches and Villas.

Church of Our Lady's Victory - 1869

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