Discover insights into the early history of Tainan at the 17th-century stronghold that once helped to defend the city against attack.
Venture inside the early 17th-century Anping Fort for a compelling glimpse into the history of Tainan. See remains of the old castle and tour its museum to learn about the brief period of Dutch occupation.
The Dutch took control of Tainan in 1624 as part of their mission to develop trade links with Asian countries. Anping Fort was originally known as Fort Zeelandia and was built for defense and as a trading hub.
Upon approach, take a look at the fort’s outer southern wall, one of the few remaining parts of the original structure. It is an attractive sight, with banyan tree roots and leaves growing on and around this weathered section of the building. Peer closely between the bricks; the mortar is made from food. Ground oyster shells, syrup and rice were mixed together to produce the bonding material.
Inside the fort grounds, see the ruins of a semicircular bulwark, another surviving feature of the early fort. Examine the muzzle-loading cannons, which date back to the late 18th or early 19th centuries. Inspect the observation tower, a late 20th-century addition, and the statue of Zheng Chenggong, a 17th-century Chinese military leader. There is also a statue of another leading Chinese military figure, Zheng Zhilong.
There is lots of historical information to pick up at the fort. Most of the notable sites within the grounds are labeled with panels that carry English translations.
Go to the fort’s upper level where there is a museum that principally covers the Dutch occupation of Tainan. See old weapons, uniforms and sketches of historic ships.
Anping Fort is located in Anping District in southwest Tainan City and is easily reached by public transport. Take the train to Tainan Station and then ride a bus from there. The fort is open daily and admission charges apply.