Monday, July 26, 2010

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Nanmen: South Gate of Taipei

7/26/2010 Taiwan Explorer
Photo taken on February 18th, 2011.

The South Gate of Taipei (台北府城南門 pronounced "Táiběi Fǔchéng Nánmén", lit. "Taipei Prefecture Capital South Gate") is also known as the Lizheng Gate (麗正門 pronounced "Lízhèngmén" lit. "Gate of justice and honor") or simply Nanmen (南門). It was built in 1879 during the Qing dynasty's rule on Taiwan. This gate is around 10 min away (by foot) from the East Gate and the Little South Gate. It's located in Zhongzheng district amid a very busy intersection.

1 Names overview

台北府城南門 - Taipei Prefecture Capital South Gate
麗正門 - Gate of Justice and Honor
南門 - South Gate

2 Map of the gate

Please zoom out to see the location of the gate within Taipei (click here for a bigger map).

3 My impression of the gate

This gate, same as the East Gate, was heavily modified and looks totally different from its original form a good century ago. It was built during the Qing dynasty's rule in Taiwan in the 19th century. During the Japanese rule (1895-1945), the walls around the gate were removed, but the gate was marked as a historical site (1935) and had to be preserved. In 1966 the Kuomintang's government (the Chinese Nationalist party that ruled Taiwan from 1948-2000) decided to change the shape of the gate in order to "improve Taipei and make it more attractive to tourists". Same as with the East Gate and Little South Gate, they changed the gate into northern Chinese style, which is especially obvious in the upper part, particularly the roof. I think we can be happy, that this gate was preserved, even though major changes were undertaken. I would hope that there would be a way to connect the gate with the sidewalks, so that visitors could come close. I'm not really a fan of inaccessible gates being surrounded by traffic, but I guess it's just impossible to guarantee a smooth traffic and an accessible gate. We'll have to live with the way it is for now.

4 My day photos of the gate

From the side.

This would be inside the walled Taipei.

A closeup.

There are a lot of plants surrounding the gate. Not sure, whether that's good or bad.

This is the direction to another gate: Xiaonanmen.

A closeup of Nanmen.

5 Historic image of the gate

South Gate in 1908 (digitally remastered by me).

Location: Go to Xiaonanmen Station and walk Eastwards (link).

Related: [My GATES OF TAIPEI overview][Info][Photo by MKL, 2011]

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