Monday, July 26, 2010

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Ximen: West Gate of Taipei

7/26/2010 Taiwan Explorer
Old photo stylized in Photoshop by me.

The West Gate of Taipei (台北府城西門 pronounced "Táiběi Fǔchéng Xīmén", lit. "Taipei Prefecture Capital West Gate") or also known as the Baocheng Gate (寶成門 [寶成 short for 寶物成就] pronounced "Bǎochéngmén" trans. "Gate of gathering treasure", name comes because there was a business district nearby) or simply Ximen (西門) was completed in 1882. This gate was standing only 23 years. It was destroyed in 1905 by the Japanese, who also removed the wall around old Taipei. The gate was located in Ximending, Taipei's trendy district. It was exactly above the today's Ximen MRT Station.

1 Names overview

台北府城西門 - Taipei Prefecture Capital West Gate
寶成門 - Gate of Gathering Treasure
西門 - West Gate

2 Map of the area where the gate stood

The West gate stood exactly in the center of the big intersection (view larger map).

3 My impressions of the gate

This is one of my favorite gates of Taipei. I really would love to see this one standing near Ximending in all it's glory. It must have looked magnificent and majestic, it would surely be an amazing sight and a tourist magnet today. Will it ever be rebuilt? I doubt it. The spot, where the gate used to stand is today a bustling part of Taipei, actually an important intersection of very busy roads and near Ximending. It's really a shame how much Japanese destroyed during their occupation of Taiwan and Korea. I really wonder, what kind of nation Japan was some 100 years ago, I think need to read more on the subject, but whatever there reasons may have been, it's still a shame that the gate was sacrificed for "progress".

4 Historic image of the gate

Ximen in 1905 (photo digitally remastered by me).

Location: Take the train on the blue line to Ximen station (link).

▷ BLOG NAVIGATION: Taiwan>> Taipei Travel Page>> Zhongzheng District>> Ximen