Located in Anping District of Tainan, the oldest city in Taiwan, the Eternal Golden Castle is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city. Also called the Eternal Golden Fortress (or Yi Tzai Golden Castle) and Uhrkuenshen Battery, the castle was constructed as a defense to the threat of the Japanese invasion during the Qing Dynasty period.
The idea of a defensive castle was first brought to the attention of the Taiwan’s government in 1874 by Shem Bao-Tzen, a Chinese government official. In 1876, the Eternal Golden Castle was constructed, and along with it came the development of modern military defense in the country.
The castle was designed by French engineers, and with British Armstrong Cannon installed, it was the first structure in Taiwan to have this kind of military technology. It was built near the coast to better protect the country from advancing Japanese forces from the sea.
The Eternal Golden Castle has a great historical significance to Taiwanese people because it was from this fortress that they fought the Japanese and held strong to their freedom and rights. Thus, the castle attracts not just tourists but also historians and lovers of war and history around the world. Unfortunately, some of the cannons have already been sold-specifically, by the imperial Japanese government during their colonization of the country-and the castle today no longer has a military value, but only a historical one.
Basically, the castle is a square-shaped fortress with a Western architectural style designed by French engineers. The outer walls of the castle are about two meters high, and the arched castle gate made of hard bricks is five meters high. Small and big cannons can be found surrounding the fortress, and around the external walls, a ditch was constructed as an additional protection and defense. Inside these walls, a flat ground of green grass lies within.
Most of what you will see of the building today is only a reconstruction and a preservation of what remained of the castle after it was neglected into ruins. Most of the original materials were no longer in used and some of the cannons are only imitations of the original. Also, the inner space is currently being used as an exercise field by the locals.
When you come visit, you’ll see a brass sculpture inside of Shem Bao-Tzen, which was only added later. At one time, there was also a pond and a kitchen, but they are no longer in existence now. Even so, the Golden Fortress is a nice place to visit, especially if you’re one of those who thrive in history and historical places.
How to get there: The castle is located in Anping District. To get there, take bus numbers 2, 7, 12 or 20 from the Tainan Railway Station in town and just get off at Ximen. When you get there, take another bus (Bus Number 15) going to Miaoshouli stop. From there, just follow the road signs pointing to the Castle.
Opening Hours: The Eternal Golden Castle is open from 8:30 A.M. till 5:30 P.M. An admission fee is required to enter the premises.