Tainan Park

Tainan City, Taiwan | C.1917

Photo Credit: Estelle Loiseau

Spanning over 140,000 square meters Tainan Park – until recently known as Zhongshan Park – is the oldest and the largest park in Tainan, Taiwan. Located in the North District of Tainan City, and was finished in June 17, 1917 during the Japanese Colonization of Taiwan.

Located in one of Taiwan’s oldest urban areas, Tainan was initially established by the Dutch East India Company (VOC) as a ruling and trading base called Fort Zeelandia during the period of Dutch rule on the island. After Dutch colonists were defeated by Koxinga in 1661, Tainan remained the capital of the Tungning Kingdom until 1683 and later became the capital of Taiwan Prefecture under Qing Dynasty rule through 1887.

Taking up an entire city block, the park resembles a traditional Chinese park. The public area contains several pavilions, arched foot bridges, winding stone pathways and lily ponds for visitors to explore. Its key feature is the marble bridge and pavilion that span the large pond in the middle of the park

Along with a handful of other examples like the Pan Gao Stone Archway and the Ms. Xiao Chastity Archway, Tainan Park houses one of the few remaining Qing dynasty stone archways. The Zhongdao Chongwen Archway is a monument commemorating the charity of a man named Lin Cao-ying who funded the renovation of a temple. Archways like this were ways of honoring people who had great were highly devoted to loyalty, filial piety, chastity and righteousness.

Tainan Park’s contains a large garden that was the locations for an experimental tropical forest. The experiment introduced tropical arbors from the South Sea in the early 1900s. In 2005, the City Government passed a Precious Trees Protection Regulation protecting the more than 160 different types of trees and shrubs in Tainan Park. These trees are one of the enchanting factors that entice visitors from all over the world.

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