Since becoming a British colony in the mid-19th century, Hong Kong has attracted missionary societies from the West, who saw it as a base to spread the Gospel in greater China. After the political situation in Mainland China changed, however, many missionary societies remained and later expanded in Hong Kong. These missionary societies built churches in the densely populated Central and Western district, and also in Sai Ying Pun, before they started to build schools. The establishment of churches and schools in Sai Ying Pun contributed to the historically religious and academic character of the area. Sai Ying Pun, where you can find many schools, is not only where the University of Hong Kong is situated, but also the cradle of many renowned schools. The scholarly atmosphere in the area is inseparable from the development of missionary societies in Hong Kong history.