Thursday, July 16, 2015

2015 Taiwan Summer Trip 05: Fort Zeelandia and Anping Kaitai Tianhou Temple, Witness of Early Taiwan

We came to Anbei Road, then walked to Fort Zeelandia (or Anping Fort) from Gubao Street. Since vehicles are prohibited during weekend and Public Holidays at Gubao Street, so it becomes a walking street where stalls are set up along roadside. Taiwanese street food could be found here as well as various Koza (or old times in Hokkien) games, including catching small fishes, throwing small balls to get presents like toys, shooting balloons with toy gun, etc. This street is quite different from the common walking street that just selling food and souvenirs.

There is a junction if heading south along Gubao Street. Turning right from here and walking for a short distance, you will see the entrance of Fort Zeelandia. Its opposite is Anping Kaitai Tianhou Temple, the oldest Mazu-belief temple in Taiwan. (Kaitai Tianhou lit. means Empress of Heaven who blessed the early development of Taiwan) 

Gubao Street
Guancaiban (lit. Coffin Lid), a type of Taiwanese variant of bread bowl filled with corn soup. The one at right is its original look, while the one at left is its interior after lidded up the upper crust
The video that shows how Guancaiban was made:

The game booth in front of Tianhou Temple. It's so amazed that this game could be operated in such a small booth.

Fort Zeelandia is the earliest fort architecture in Taiwan. It was built by Dutch East India Company during its occupation of Taioan (Dutch name of present-day Anping District of Tainan City ) in 1624. The fort was originally named as Fort Zeelandia, then renamed as Anping Township after Koxinga's invasion in 1662. It was also called as the Imperial City because it was the residence of Zheng Dynasty. 

The fort lost its importance after conquest by Qing Dynasty in 1683 due to a shift of political center to Fortress of Taiwan Prefecture (present-day Tainan City), and became Military Equipment Bureau. In 1868 Camphor War, British Navy attacked Anping and destroyed the Bureau. As a result, the fort was blown into remains. It was then rebuilt during Japanese occupation and renamed as Oranda-jyo (lit. Holland Fort in Japanese). After Taiwan's Retrocession, the fort was renamed as current Anping Fort.

Today, the only remnants from the Dutch period are the outer southern wall of Fort Zeelandia (National Historical Site), outer northern wall of Fort Zeelandia located outside present-day Anping Fort and Semi-Circular Inner Fort Wall with Ancient Well.

Entrance of Anping Fort

Fort Zeelandia Museum, this European style building was built in 1891 and served as residential place for foreign traders in Taiwan. It was converted into a dormitory for custom officers under Japanese Occupation and later Museum of Taiwan Historical Archives in 1932. After Retrocession, it was used as Anping District Office, then as Qiu Yong-han Cultural Museum and finally as Fort Zeelandia Museum in 2009.

Remnants of Fort Zeelandia, the outer southern wall of the fort. The remains of "iron scissors" (or "wall locks") could be found on the remnants. It was used to secure the beams attached to the walls.

The remnants of Fort Zeelandia entwined with old banyan. As there was no cement in the past, the wall was glued by a material called Sanhe-tu (or rammed earth). Sanhe-tu, also known as Angmun-tou in Hokkien (Dutch was called as Angmun-han in the past, Angmun lit. means red-haired), was a gluing material by mixing ground oyster shell and soil in syrup and glutinous rice.

Semi-Circular Inner Fort Wall with Ancient Well located at northern side. According to historical records, the fort was 838 meter wide and 11 meter high. There were two levels, where the upper level had lookout, passageways and compounds, while the lower level had four circular bastions at each side and seawater wells in the north and south to withstand fire attacks. It is believed that there was a tunnel, which could be entered from the seawater well, linked between Fort Provintia (or Chikan Tower) and Fort Zeelandia.

Lookout, built in 1945, its pointed roof was installed and walls painted into white by Tainan City Government in 1975. Nowadays, it has become an important tourism landmark in Anping.

Ancient Cannons, which built by Taiwan naval defense office during the reign of Emperor Jiaqing of Qing Dynasty (1796 - 1820). The muzzle-loading cannons were moved to here by Japanese Government for the Commemoration of Taiwan's 300 Years of Culture held in 1930.

Statue of Koxinga

Military Equipment Bureau Stele, which erected by the deputy head of navy, Yang Jia-nan, during his rebuilt of the Bureau in 1873. The Bureau was destroyed in 1868 Camphor War. The stele was moved to here by Japanese Government during the Commemoration of Taiwan's 300 years of Culture held in 1930.

Historic Memorial Hall is located at the top of Fort Zeelandia. It was a Western style mansion in Oranda-jyo (Holland Fort) under Japanese Occupation. Lot of tourists took photos with the mansion at the stairs. After that, we climbed up the narrow staircase in the lookout and watch the scenery view of Anping.

East side of Anping Fort, the river at far side is Yanshui River

North side of Anping Fort

West side of Anping Fort,the water at far side is part of Anping Port

South side of Anping Fort,the building with green tiles is Anping Kaitai Tianhou Temple

We came to Anping Kaitai Tianhou Temple after visiting Anping Fort. It is the first temple of Mazu-belief in Taiwan, which built in 1668. The three statues of Mazu enshrined in the temple were the goddess of army protection invited by Koxinga in 1661 from  the origin of Mazu, Meizhou Island of Putian, Fujian Province of China Mainland. 

The officers of Koxinga's army built the temple and enshrined Mazu for her blessing on Koxinga's conquest of Taiwan. The temple was first called as Anping Tianfei Temple (Tianfei lit. means Celestial Consort in Chinese), which its original site located at current Shimen Elementary School of Anping. It lost its importance after Qing Dynasty conquered Taiwan and built another temple, called Grand Tianhou Temple. Anping Tianfei Temple was not recognized as righteous temple by Qing Government until 1875, when Emperor Guangxu granted a plaque of "Yu Tian Tong Gong" (lit. equal merit as heaven) to the temple.

The temple was abandoned in 1895 when Japanese occupied Taiwan and slaughtered Black Flag Army in the temple. The statues enshrined in the temple were distributed to other temples separately until the temple was rebuilt by the locals in Anping in 1962. The new temple was burned down in 1990 and rebuilt as the current building after that.

According to the brochure, the Army Protection Mazu of Anping showed miracles for a few times. One of them was the area never been hit under American's bombardment on the arsenals of Japanese Army during WWII. Another miracles happened during the fire in 1990. Although the fire destroyed the temple and turned the sacred chair of Mazu into charcoal, the statues of Mazu were intact including the clothes on the statues.

Archway of the temple, built in 1992

The front view of Tianhou Temple, the plaque of "Shengmu Anlan" (lit. May the Peace of Holy Mother) is one of the Eight Attractions of Anping

The beautiful craft work of the ceiling inside the temple

After the tour at Anping, we went back to the hostel by bus. We then went to T.S. Dream Mall at that evening. This newly open shopping mall is the largest mall in Tainan City currently.

We had our dinner at the food court here. It is quite different from the common food court in Singapore. No matter which stall it is, the meals offered are set meals. A reminder plate is given after payment. When the meals are ready, the plate will vibrate to remind customers to collect their meals.

This set meal was ordered from a Japanese style port cutlet stall, called "Banjiu de wo"

This set meal was ordered from "Nanyang Delicious Foods". It was so "international" to have Thai style fried rice, Malaysia and Singapore's Bak-ku-teh and Taiwanese beancurd

This set meal was ordered from a popular stall, called OEC Wooden Barrel Grill & Double Grill

That's the end of the Tainan one-day trip. We will go to Green Island located at the eastern side of Taiwan at the next day.


Long Journey to Taitung, Night Travel at Green Island

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