No.212, Sec. 2, Minzu Rd., West Central District, Tainan City 700, Taiwan (R.O.C.)【Brief Introduction】
Situated at the intersection of Chihkan Street and Minzu Road of Tainan City, Chihkan Tower was built by the Dutch. The early Han called the Dutch 'Hong Mao' (meaning 'red-haired'); therefore, the tower is also known as the 'Hong Mao Tower', also known as 'Fan Zai Tower' (Tower of the Foreigner). According to the Michelin Guide, Chihkan Tower is listed as a three-star attraction.【History】
During Dutch Colonization, the Dutch people built a city called Provintia in Chihkan for defence purposes. The name Provintia means province in English. (The Han people called it Chihkan, Fanzailo or Hongmaolo).
When Jheng Cheng-gong defeated the Dutch and recovered Taiwan, he took over Puluominjhe (Chihkan Tower) and established the Chengtian Prefecture at the Chamber of Red Hill. Later when Jheng moved to Provintia in Anping, Puluominjhe became a magazine until the Qing Government took over Taiwan.
During the Qing Dynasty, locals built a Dashih Temple next to Provintia, which was the first Chinese architecture to appear next to a Dutch construction in Taiwan. When the Japanese took over Taiwan, Chihkan Tower became an army garrison hospital. It was appointed as an important historical site in 1935. In the subsequent renovations after the restoration of Taiwan, the original wooden structure was changed to an RC structure, with the front gate, originally facing west, facing south. In 1971, it was listed as a Class I Historic Site.【Features】
Both the Haishen Temple and the Wunchang Pavilion have double-eave round hip roofs, and the top eave has long corners curving upward. The tail has leaping carp decorations spitting out bubbles. These vivid details together form a fabulous image of the whole structure.
【Stone turtle tablets】
After the successful suppression of the revolt led by Lin Suan-wun during the Cianlong Reign, Emperor Cianlong wrote five epics to commemorate the event. He also inscribed them on the stone tablets, also known as the stone turtle tablets, in both Manchurian and Chinese. They are the most magnificent and characteristic tablets in Taiwan.
The 80cm-tall base of these stone turtle tablets is made of granite. The stone turtle is called Bisi, one of the nine sons of the Dragon, who liked carrying heavy objects on its back; therefore, it is often used as the base of tablets.
The horse was originally a stone sculpture placed in front of the tomb of the Qing military officer Jheng Ci-ren, who was killed in a revolt led by Lin Suan-wun. It was later moved to Chihkan Tower. According to the rules of the Qing Dynasty, government officials (includ-ing military officers) can put stone statutes or stone sculptures of animals in front of their tombs.
【Hongmao Well】 There is an ancient well located between the Haishen Temple and the Wunchang Pavilion. It was the water source of the Dutch living in Chihkan Tower.
Another source suggests that the Dutch used this well for communication with Provintia and for escaping to Anping. These stories have made the well and Puluominjhe both mysterious and romantic.
--Source: Travel Information from the Cultural Affairs Bureau, Tainan City Government website.