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Historical Sites and Landscapes
Eternal Golden Castle
Eternal Golden Castle

    In 1874, (the 13th year of Emperor Tongzhi’s reign in the Qing Dynasty) Japanese troops invaded Taiwan as a result of the Mudan Incident and prompting the Qing court to not only put Shen Baozhen in charge of Taiwan’s defense system, but also send a delegation to negotiate Japan’s military withdrawal from Taiwan. While vehemently reinforcing the Formosan defense works, Shen suggested that a fortress be built in Anping to safeguard the coastline and Taiwan Prefecture, present-day Tainan. Following his advice, the Eternal Golden Castle was constructed out of brick materials from Fort Zeelandia and European-style red bricks, encircled by an approximately 3-meter-wide moat filled with seawater deeper than the average height of adults. The castle was accessed through its southeastward-facing arched gate.
Inaugurated in 1876 (the 2nd year of Emperor Guangxu’s reign), the Eternal Golden Castle is Taiwan’s first modern, Western-style fortress equipped with powerful weapons: five British-made Armstrong muzzle-loading cannons that are 18-pounders. Beneath the cannon emplacements is the 60-centimeter-thick wall of a mortar house functioning as an anti-raid shelter and ammunition depot that, nevertheless, was destroyed and reduced to a soil-covered slope. Early in the 20th century, the castle was a sad sight of dilapidation as the damaged cannons were sold, wooden bridge broken and arched gate blocked off by fragmented bricks. Fortunately, replicas of cannons and guns were added to the Eternal Golden Castle in 1975 as part of Tainan City Government’s massive restoration effort that marked this historic site’s centenary.

1874: The Mudan Incident occurred when shipwrecked Ryukyu fishermen were killed by indigenous Mudan villagers, giving Japan the excuse for invading the present-day Pingtung area in Taiwan. Shen Baozhen, the Maritime Commissioner of Fujian Province, was appointed by the Qing court to organize Taiwan’s defense works. He started the construction of Erkunshen Fortress in September.

1876: A plaque engraved with the four Chinese characters of “Yi-Zai-Jin-Cheng” (Eternal Golden Castle) appeared above the arched gate of Eternal Golden Castle, the first Western-style fortress in Taiwan; it became a stronghold to safeguard territorial integrity along the Kunshen coast.

1905: Eternal Golden Castle was damaged to a certain degree during the Japanese colonial era. In 1975, after Taiwan’s Retrocession, the Chinese nationalist government led a large-scale restoration effort in celebration of the fortress’ centenary.

1999: Eternal Golden Castle was restored yet again. Some of the previously unnoticed underground structures were excavated in this latest restoration effort, and are displayed in a glass casement.

Visitor Information

Admission: Full Price NT$50; Discount NT $25
Opening Hours:8:30 A.M. to 5:30 P.M.
Historic Site Inquiries: (06)390-1341 / 295-5703
Eternal Golden Castle: (06)295-1504
Address: No. 3, Guangzhou Rd., Anping Dist., Tainan City