Novel polyoxometalate (POM)-grafting mesoporous hybrid silicas, XW(11)/MHS (X=P, Si) and TBAPW(11)Si(2)/MHS, have been prepared respectively by co-condensation and post-synthesis routes based on the employment of Keggin-type monovacant XW(11) or a Si-substituted compound TBAPW(11)Si(2) as POM precursors. Upon characterization of the samples by FT-IR, XRD, ICP-AES, TEM and N(2) adsorption-desorption measurement, it was found that Keggin units were retained perfectly in ordered hexagonal mesopore channels with SBA-15 architecture and immobilized by covalent linkages on the mesopore wall. These materials, especially the co-condensed samples, exhibited stable and reversible photochromic properties under UV irradiation although no special organic component was supplied additionally as an electron donor. An investigation of the photochromism revealed that the photochromic response depended on the centre atom of the POM species (i.e., the redox potential of the POM), the content of the POM and the synthetic route of the sample, while the bleaching process was correlated not only to the redox potential but also to the pore size of the sample. The photochromic mechanism was also studied in detail by cyclic voltammetry, ESR, FT-IR and XPS techniques. It was found that the remaining P123 template acted as a reducing agent and was oxidized during the photochromic process accompanied by the reduction of the POM to heteropolyblue. Thus, a close contact between the POM and the remaining P123 chain in the sample is necessary. Low close-contact degree results in poor photochromic behavior of the post-synthesized sample and impregnated samples.