Sunday, January 29, 2012

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Fort Provintia 赤崁樓, Tainan

1/29/2012 Taiwan Explorer

Fort Provintia, also known as Chihkan Tower 赤崁樓 is one of Tainan's (and Taiwan's) most famous historic buildings. It's a reminder of Taiwan's colonial past and the history of the site reflects well on the history of Taiwan as a whole. Built by the Dutch colonialists in 1653, it served as their military and trading post until 1662, when Koxinga (or 鄭成功), a military commander loyal to Ming Dynasty came from the Chinese mainland, conquered it and took over the control of the part of Taiwan around today's Tainan. He used the fort as his office. Six months later he died and his son continued to reign in his place until 1883, when Qing Dynasty gained control over Taiwan and ruled it for two centuries (source). In the late 19th century two pavilions and a small school were added. After 1945 the fort was renamed to Chihkan Tower (named after "Chakam", an aboriginal village, that stood here before the Dutch came).

Visitors are allowed to go up to the top floor of the pavilion.

The site is beautifully maintained, especially the garden. You have to pay a small entrance fee and then you can stroll around the area as long as you wish. We've visited during Chinese new year, so it was very crowded, but it was still worth the hassle. This is definitely a must-see spot for every Taiwan and Tainan visitor. It was the highlight of my trip.

A view to the east.

The top floor of the smaller pavilion has a little altar.

I've seldom seen such small Han characters in a book like in this one.

The characters say 赤崁樓 or Chihkan Tower.

Inside the main pavilion was quite crowded.

The view on the garden.

A detail on the roof - it's a fish!

The statues on the right show how the Dutch surrendered to Koxinga.

And then we headed to the nearby Sacrificial Rites Martial Temple.

Calligraphy

My 2012 SOUTH-CENTRAL TAIWAN Tour - NEXT: Tainan Confucius Temple>>

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