Saturday, February 04, 2012

A Little Taiwanese History Lesson

Prior to my visit to Taiwan, I had no idea of the island's diverse history. The Dutch acquired control of Taiwan from its indigenous people between 1624 to 1662 while sailing through the area to set up trading posts to trade with Japan and China. They named the island "Ilha Formosa" or "Beautiful Island" in Portuguese.

This is a model of Fort Provintia built in 1653 in Tainan City. Tt served as the Dutch administrative office and trading post during their colonization of Formosa.

This is what the former Fort Provintia looks like following some remodeling and additions over the years. After 1945, it was renamed to Chihkan Tower after "Chakam", an aboriginal village, that stood here before the Dutch came.

Military leader, Zheng Chenggong, (also known as Koxinga) born of a Chinese father and Japanese mother, led his troops to Formosa in 1662 and defeated the Dutch.
This structure shows the Dutch Governor of Formosa, Frederik Coyett, on the left with his head bowed to Koxinga during his surrender.

Chihkan Lou serves as a museum today retelling the history between the Dutch and Koxinga.

On the site of Chihkan Lou is a koi pond. I believe these workers are cleaning the pond, but the fishes appear to be struggling to get enough water and some did not seem to fare so well.

Not far from Chihkan Lou is a shrine to Koxinga seen in the last 3 photos. His son built it to honor the much revered leader in Taiwanese history. With being half Chinese and half Japanese, he is seen as a hero in both cultures.

Note: Eventually, Formosa came back to be called Taiwan or "Tayouan" as it was originally called by the island's aborigines.

- Karen


cocomino said...

I learned a lot. Thank you for sharing.:)

FilipBlog said...

The pond maintenance seems to be a disaster.


Yogi♪♪♪ said...

I had no idea that the Dutch had anything to do with the island's history. Great lesson.

lina said...

Thanks for sharing a bit of Taiwan's history. said...

The Dutch were most everywhere in those days. When I was in school (granted U.S. School) it was still called Formosa, but I also remember when the "Taiwan Issue" forced all of us to start calling it Taiwan. Fascinating photos. Just love the architecture.

rainfield61 said...

I am glad to follow a virtual tour with you.

It must be even better if I can taste the food as well.

betchai said...

Great information, you are right about the pond cleaning, it seems it was so painful for the fish :(

LifeRamblings said...

thanks for the great history lesson. i enjoy tagging along with you.