Relation detection is a core component of many NLP applications including Knowledge Base Question Answering (KBQA). In this paper, we propose a hierarchical recurrent neural network enhanced by residual learning which detects KB relations given an input question. Our method uses deep residual bidirectional LSTMs to compare questions and relation names via different levels of abstraction. Additionally, we propose a simple KBQA system that integrates entity linking and our proposed relation detector to make the two components enhance each other. Our experimental results show that our approach not only achieves outstanding relation detection performance, but more importantly, it helps our KBQA system achieve state-of-the-art accuracy for both single-relation (SimpleQuestions) and multi-relation (WebQSP) QA benchmarks.