Tainan’s historical sites

01.jpg

The last major activity during my week off was a tour of some of Tainan’s historical sites. Our first destination was the Anping Artillery Fort which was found as we were in the process of getting lost in Tainan.

The fort was built in 1840 during the First Opium War. It is the only surviving of four fortresses built by the Qing at Anping Port to defend Taiwan from British invasion. Anping was a small island off the coast of Taiwan, however, due to ocean currents the water between Anping and Taiwan gradually disappeared.

02.jpg

03.jpg

04.jpg

In 1778, the Cianlong Seawall was built when Jiang Yuan-Shu, the then Governor of Taiwan decided that a seawall would best protect Anping’s beach area from damage from tidal waves.

05.jpg

06.jpg

078.jpg

Where to next?

08.jpg

Anping is the earliest developed port in Taiwan’s history. It had gone through the rules of the Dutch, Koxinga of the Ming Dynasty, and the Qing Dynasty. After the Treaty of Tianjin was signed in 1858, several ports were opened along China’s and Taiwan’s coastlines. In Taiwan, the ports: Anping, Danshui, Keelung, and Takou were opened. At this time, the foreign firms of British Te-Chi (Tait & Co.), Yi-Chi, Ho-Chi, American Lai-Chi, and German Julius Mannich were the most well-known of the foreign firms. During the Japanese rule, as Anping was getting silted, trade in the area was greatly reduced and gradually disappeared.

The Julius Mannich Firm:

09.jpg

10.jpg

The walkway was lined with coral skeletons:

11.jpg

I look stately in this photo:

12.jpg

13.jpg

14.jpg

The Anping Tree House was originally the warehouse of Tait & Co. During Japanese occupation, it was used as the office and warehouse of the Salt Association of Japan. The Taiwan Salt Company took control after Japan’s defeat in World War II.

An old salt warehouse by itself isn’t very spectacular, but the building since its abandonment has been invaded extensively by banyan tress whose roots and branches have created an amazing display by completely wrapping around the building:

15.jpg

16.jpg

17.jpg

A walkway allows visitors to view above the building and a steal structure has been added to prevent portions of the trees from causing further damange to the building or harm to visitors:

18.jpg

19.jpg

20.jpg

21.jpg

22.jpg

In 1867, British merchants Tait & Co. established branches in Anping to handle tea exports, insurance, and banking. This along with the other foreign firms show Anping’s prosperous international trade status of the nineteenth century.

23.jpg

24.jpg

25.jpg

26.jpg

27.jpg

For $30 NT I got to take a picture with this guy’s lizard. He ran up to me with his pet, placed it on my shoulder, then asked for money:

28.jpg

29.jpg

In 1624, the Dutch occupied today’s Anping and spent ten years building Fort Zeelandia. After 1662, because Koxinga and his son lived here, it went by the names: King Fort, Anping Fort, and Taiwan Fort. When the Japanese rebuilt it, they renamed it Anping Old Fort. The only Dutch remnants are the ruins of a semicircular bulwark and a section of the outer fort’s brick wall.

30.jpg

31.jpg

The Fort’s modern observation tower (thanks for the correction):

32.jpg

The glass really needed to be cleaned:

33.jpg

34.jpg

35.jpg

36.jpg

37.jpg

38.jpg

Commemorating Koxinga: the half-Chinese, half-Japanese, Ming-loyalist pirate who successfully expelled the Dutch from Taiwan:

39.jpg

The old wall of Zeelandia:

40.jpg

41.jpg

In 1653, the Dutch built Fort Providentia in this area. Locals prefered to call it “Tower of the Savages” or “Tower of the Red-Haired Barbarians”. Chikan Tower is its official name today.

42.jpg

43.jpg

The Dutch surrender to Koxinga:

44.jpg

Wen Chang Pavilion is a two-story building enshrining Wen Chang, the God of Literature:

45.jpg

46.jpg

This well is rumored to contain a tunnel to Fort Zeelandia:

47.jpg

In 1874, the Japanese planned a military invasion of Taiwan under the pretext of the Mutan Village Incident. Sheng Bao Zhen, chief minister of the navy was ordered to come to the island to monitor defensive actions. On May 1, 1874, Sheng led a fleet eastward from Mawei. The Taiwan Strait was a dangerous and risky journey for any seafarer at the time. Believing his safe arrival was blessed by the Sea God, Sheng built this temple in 1875 to commemorate:

48.jpg

49.jpg

The Peng Hu School was constructed by Sheng Shou Qien, the Magistrate of Taiwan in 1886:

50.jpg

Construction of the Erkunshen Fortress (Eternal Golden Castle) began in 1874 by Shen Bao-Jhen to defend Anping against Japanese invasion. Shen hired a French architect to design the Western-style fortress that was completed in 1876. The fort’s cannons have been used twice against foreigners:
The first was during the Sino-French War of 1884 when a French fleet was carrying out armed provocation in Anping, the fort’s cannons were fired and the French fled the area.
The second was just before Taiwan was ceded to Japan in 1895 when the cannons were fired against Japanese battleships attempting to enter the area.

51.jpg

A moat surrounds the fort to slow invasion:

52.jpg

The troop exercise grounds:

53.jpg

British Armstrong guns and cannons:

54.jpg

55.jpg

By the time we finished going through Erkunshen Fortress, it was getting late and we had to make the drive back to Nantou. I didn’t see all of Tainan’s historical sites, but I did see enough to keep me content for now.

Sources used for the background information regarding the sites came from Tainan City’s website, the English signage throughout the areas we toured, and the handful of brochures I left with.

12 thoughts on “Tainan’s historical sites

  1. Well, Todd, in the past few weeks I’ve ran into both my 2004 roommate from Los Angeles, and one of the other foreigner bloggers–both in MRT stations. So it seems inevitable I’ll see you soon.

  2. I would say that our chances of running into each other will be pretty high sometime after the start of September, as I will begin studying Chinese at Shida then.

    I will be in a lower level (I am taking the intro) but I’ll probably catch you on campus.

  3. Great pictures on what looked like a beautiful day. That lighthouse built in 1908 seems a little too modern-looking. According to the “Insight Guide Taiwan” it’s an observation tower put up in the 1970s. The book goes on to say that there used to be a good view of the coast from it, but “silting has moved the coastline several kilometers to the west”.

  4. Pingback: Where in the world - Page 214 - TeakDoor.com - The Thailand Forum

  5. Pingback: Daily Photo - Anping Tree House [2] « The Daily Bubble Tea

  6. Pingback: Daily Photo - Anping Tree House [3] « The Daily Bubble Tea

  7. Pingback: Daily Photo - Anping Tree House [4] « The Daily Bubble Tea

  8. Pingback: » A wharehouse covered with trees : The Anping Tree House, Tainan, Taiwan artificial.crab

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s