Is there anything left of it? If so, is it worth going to Tainan to take a look?
There were actually two forts, the Dutch having realized after building the first one that they had put it in a disadvantageous place. So they added a second fort nearby, which had the effect of splitting their forces. Not so smart, those Dutch tacticians.
One of the forts was completely sinified long ago. It looks like a temple now but is worth visiting if you’re in Tainan. The other one is out in the boondocks. I’ve never been inside, because it’s always been closed by the time I get out there. But it doesn’t look like much from the outside: dirt walls and a weed-choked field. :? There must be something more I suppose, but I have yet to see it.
Have any Forumosans been there in the last few years or ever been inside?
Went to both earlier this year. Pleasant places (there’s a coffee shop inside one of them) but not amazing. Wander the backstreets in Anping - that’s more interesting.
Niether place is very interesting. Just as dull as that ‘Red Hair Castle of the foreign barbarian devils’ or whatever it’s called in Tamshui (Dan-shui).
The thing that gets me is how they’ve made these places into Nationalist propoganda centers. The Dutch are portrayed as rapacious imperialist devils (they were simply using part of island as a trading post midway between Japan and the East Indies) and Zheng Cheng-gong as the hero and liberator of the oppressed Chinese masses under Dutch control (he was a pirate, defeted by the Qing, who decided to attack the Dutch because they were the easiest target in the area).
I’ve even had a few Taiwanese tell me how they resent us foreigners stealing their land, like the Dutch did those many years ago.
The history I’m familiar with about Taiwan is that the Dutch pushed the aboriginies off the plains (and converted some tribes to Christianity) and then allowed massive Chinese settlement from Fu-jian to farm the lowlands in the western part of the island. Most Taiwanese trace their ancestry to periods of immigration during and after Dutch rule.
But these people will not waste an opportunity to glorify their own race and denigrate others.
Well, I like the castle, so maybe i’ll give the forts in Tainan a try.
I think that the Chinese settlement / pushing of the Aborigines off the plains were simultaneous events.
The forts are rather dull. If you’re in Tainan, try the temples instead. You can’t walk for ten metres without tripping over one and some of them are quite interesting. The backstreets of Tainan are fun to explore - half of Tainan seemingly consists of narrow ancient backstreets. Sometimes for fun I like to take “shortcuts” between the main roads just for the excuse of exploring the alleys - it’s fun to play “get lost.”
the half dutch and half taiwanese …interesting
The Mazu temple at Luermen is worth seeing if you can get out there. I don’t advise it during the Lunar New Year however. I think everyone in Southern Taiwan is there on that day.
Actually, the temple to see in Southern Taiwan is the dragon temple in Madou [Matou]. It’s a small town about 40 minutes’ drive north of Tainan that contains the biggest temple in Southern Taiwan. There is a giant dragon next to the temple that you can go inside: walk upstairs into the dragon’s mouth, and you get to see scenes from Chinese heaven. Go downstairs into the dragon’s belly, and you walk through scenes of Chinese hell. It’s the closest thing to a Disneyland exhibit they’ve got in this place.
The three competing temples at Luermen are worth a look, as well, if only for the gaudiness - they’re in a competition to see who can raise enough money to build the biggest temple. A few kilos close by on the seashore is the monument showing where Koxinga originally landed in Taiwan - not much more to see than a snapshot or two, all told.