Sunday, December 19, 2010

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Aletheia University, Tamsui

12/19/2010 Taiwan Explorer

Aletheia University (named like this since 1999) is the successor of the former Oxford College, that was founded in 1882 in Tamsui and was at that time the first form of higher education in Taiwan. The college was founded by George Leslie Mackay, a Canadian presbyterian missionary, who lived and worked in Tamsui in the late 19th century and became very known. He's probably the most known foreigner ever living in Taiwan. Besides the founding of this college (and later university), he helped to build many churches in the area as well as a hospital. He married a local Han Chinese woman and learned the Taiwanese language. He died in Tamsui in 1901 and is still a very honored historic figure in the area and beyond. There's even a statue of him found in one of the public squares in central Tamsui. He helped to establish the college with donations from Canada. Most came from his native Oxford county and therefore he named the college after Oxford to honor the donors. In August 1999 the name was changed to Aletheia University ("aletheia" is Greek for "truth"). More about the history and other facts on the university's homepage.

My girlfriend and I went to see the interesting building and explore the whole area. The university is not far away from the famous Fort San Domingo and the Little White House, however, you need to go down and then go uphill again. The road up is pretty steep, but it's well worth to go on top and see the beautiful main building as well as the garden and some other high schools nearby.

This is what we saw that warm spring day:

A signboard with important years in the history of the university.

The main building from the side.

It looks like a majestic church on a hill.

The garden in front of the main building.

The main building again, surrounded by cherry trees.

A lovely pond in the garden.

Lotus blossoms.

We were lucky to see the sakura or cherry blossoms.

The cherry blossoms in full bloom. My girlfriend made this incredible shot.

This is another building in the area, looks like a mix of Chinese and Western architecture.

Tamkang highschool bell tower (this is not part of Aletheia University).

This is something typical for Taiwan. Couples love to pose and make photos.

There's no charge to enter the campus. I definitely recommend you to see these amazing buildings and gardens, because they're really beautiful. The best time to visit is spring.

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