castle in Taipei Danshui (淡水) ? Hongmao Castle (紅毛城)

Taiwan has a pretty complicated history.  The native aboriginal tribes had lived on this little but luscious island for a long time, with occasional visits/interaction with the fishermen off of China’s Guangdong province.

When the Europeans started to embark on long distance sea exploration, they found Taiwan.  Over at this northwestern spot where DanShui river opens up to the sea, the Spanish first came and built a fort in 1629 (first with wood, then stone) and named it Fort San Domingo.  Then, Dutch came in 1642 and kicked out the Spanish.  In the process, the Fort San Domingo was ruined, and Dutch built a new fort on the same spot, named it Fort Anthonio.

Well, the locals didn’t speak Dutch (still don’t now).  They simply called the dutch “Hong Mao”, which literally translates to “Red Hair”.  As you’d probably expect,  “Mao” is the lesser-polite way to say hair.  {and if you were wondering, it’s the same word as the last name of the famous controversial Chinese leader who was responsible for Cultural Revolution in the 60’s).

Moving on… the Chinese government then took the ownership of it from 1683 to 1867.  Then after losing the Opium War to the British, it became British consultant in 1868.  Finally, the current Taiwanese government regained the ownership of the land in 1980.  Whew, that’s enough history lesson for this post.

now it’s a museum that’s open to the public for visit.

This structure sits right by where Danshui River runs into the ocean, which gives it the geographical importance for strategic defense.

I brought my own red-head for this visit. 🙂

danshui, taipei, taiwan, dutch

The old kitchen.


The old incinerator – this looks more effective than shredders. hmm..


old cannons

Long Live the Queen!

english queen portrait

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