Fort Zeelandia

Dutch is such a happy boingy language, and “Zeelandia” is such a marvelous word. Linguistic compliments aside, An-Ping Fort, a.k.a. Fort Zeelandia is fun to visit too. It is a bit of a workout with lots of tall stairs to climb… These greeted us once we were in the park:

A couple of more stairs and a stroll around led us to the guard tower.

Inside the tower, more steep stairs awaited us…

No wonder fairy tales have princesses stuck in towers, princes have to prove themselves fit to get up all the stairs (assuming one isn’t Rapunzel’s prince, who got stuck with hair… )

And while they’re in towers, at least princesses have a view (assuming one isn’t Sleeping Beauty and stuck in one’s own dreams, where there is hopefully some adventuring and good dancing…)

Unfortunately when I was there, the tower was plagued with vaguely dirty windows, so my apologies for the following…

The fort has old cannons standing at the ready for tourist photo-ops. The water that used to come up to the fort walls has disappeared and been pushed further away.

The Matzu temple with its rings of stands which included the little ice cream stand where you had to hit a button to stop a spinning arrow on a wheel activated by one’s 20NT to see if you got 1-5 scoops of plum ice cream which isn’t really creamy… but sweet.

I thought it was rather neat that the angles of the rooftop extended outwards, whilst the walls folded in. I always thought it would be lovely to have a turret to myself and see the sun rise and set from windows of the same room. Etown college, when I was a dorky music camper with my cousin had a lovely bit of a tower in the library which was long enough ago that now it seems slightly like a dream to have been in a different redbrick building that had views of trees and campus instead of the motley rooftops of the outskirts of Tainan where the sea has receded. (end random aside)

It must have been beautiful to look out on the sea. Now the water is distant, hovering perhaps at the edge of things except for the canal which is a bit twisty.

So are the stairs going down…

Marvelous umbrella-like trimmed trees with a statue of I’m guessing Koxinga.

Umbrella trees closer up… Don’t they look like something that would belong in Alice in Wonderland?

The outer wall is the oldest part of the fort sans major restorative work, I think, and the trees infiltrating it are some of the original old trees.

Remains of the city wall: …The height is about 10 meters and the wall was made by red bricks mixed with sticky rice, syrup and oyster shell ash.” —Anping Harbor Scenic Site: Anping Fort

There’s a remnant of the old well in this semicircle of wall, though the cover isn’t particularly photogenic…

There are fun trees in the park, and some excavation sites that are essentially large holes of dirt with placards around them.

ETA: An interesting link by the Taiwan Review that discusses the Fort as a center for administration by the Dutch, and the significance of Dutch rule on Taiwanese history and development.

Old and newer maps of Taiwan and the Fort


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Free Rice

June 2008
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