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Historical Sites and Landscapes
Anping Tree House: Tait & Co. Merchant House
Anping Tree House: Tait & Co. Merchant House

 Taiwan’s Foreign Trade History

    Anping is the earliest port in Taiwan’s history, and has been through the rules of the Dutch, Zheng Chenggong (Koxinga) during the Ming Dynasty, Qing Dynasty and Japanese occupation. It was also an important trading port of Taiwan. In 1858, the 8th year of Emperor Xianfeng’s reign during the Qing Dynasty, with the Treaty of Tianjin (Tientsin), more ports were opened in Taiwan, including the earlier Danshui and Keelung ports, and subsequently the ports in Takao and Taiwan Prefecture. In 1865, the 3rd year of Emperor Tongzhi’s reign, Anping opened its door on the 1st of January, and foreign merchants came successively to set up their firms. The British Tait & Co., Elles & Co., Boyd & Co., US Wright & Co. and Germany’s Julius Manich & Co. were the five well-known traders in Anping at the time. During the Japanese occupation, with the Japanese monopolizing the opium trade and taking away the shipping businesses, the foreign merchants gradually withdrew from Anping. The merchant buildings were subsequently converted or used for other purposes. Wright & Co. building was converted into Osaka Shipping Corporation; Julius Manich & Co. building was converted into Anping subprefecture, Elles & Co., was converted into Anping Aquatic Products School; and Boyd & Co. was converted into dormitories for Taiwan Salt Company’s employees. Tait & Co. building was sold to Taiwan Salt Making Corporation. After Taiwan’s Retrocession, its main factory was made into office buildings, and the factory was relocated.In 2015, in the “Connecting with the world: Open the time treasure box of Anping”, Dutch cultural relics from the 17th century Age of Discovery were exhibited. Through a systematic commentary by zone, the exhibition introduces the origin of merchant houses, trade shipping routes and trading models, reproducing the trading history of Anping. Today, Tait & Co., and Julius Manich & Co. buildings are the only two remaining merchant buildings having witnessed the history of Taiwan’s foreign merchants during the late Qing Dynasty.

 Timeline of Anping Tree House ( Tait & Co.)
 
1865 Customs was established in Anping, and the ports were officially opened. Foreign traders came successively to set up their firms. In a short time, there were foreign merchants and firms everywhere.
 
1867 British Tait & Co. was set up, located in Anping’s Haitou community at that time. The Company mainly dealt in bulk goods such as opium, camphor and sugar. Together with the other firms, Elles & Co., Boyd & Co., Julius Manich & Co. and Wright & Co., they were known as Anping’s top five foreign merchants.
 
1895 After the Japanese occupied Taiwan, the Japanese Government took back the trading rights of bulk goods such as opium and camphor, and monopolized the trade. As a result, business for foreign traders declined, and with Anping port becoming silted, which affected the loading and unloading of goods, many firms closed down, with only Tait & Co. continuing to operate.
 
1911 With the successive closing of Anping’s foreign firms, the Japanese converted them into warehouses for the Salt Industry Association. After World War II, they were then converted into office buildings for Tainan’s salt factory.
 
1979 Tainan City Government took back and refurbished the  Tait & Co. building.
 
2001 The Tree House was open for artist residency; renovation was spilt into three phases and it has since become an oasis in Tainan City.
 
2013 Opening of the Zhu Jiu-Ying Residence

2015“Connecting with the world: Open the time treasure box of Anping”exhibition

Visitor Information

Admission: Full Price NT$50; Discount NT $25
Opening Hours: 8 A.M. to 6 P.M. during summer (April - September)
8:30 A.M. to 5:30 P.M.

Historic Site Inquiries: (06)390-1341 / 295-5703
Anping Tree House: (06)391-3901
Address: No. 108, Gubao St., Anping Dist., Tainan City