The Historic Archives Building of Chiayi City is a famous landmark in the city and is categorized as a historic site. Actually, it is comprised of two “houses” that were part of the Kagi Shrine, which was built by the Japanese on October 28, 1915 for Shinto worship. The fast house used to be a religious building where people fasted and did their preparations for rituals and sacrifices. The social affairs house was used as an office for the management of the old shrine. Both houses were constructed according to Japanese style architecture, specifically in the Shoin-zukuri style, with each having a veranda and the characteristic paper doors.
The fast house and the social affairs house, which are connected to each other by a traverse, bear the marks of the influence of Japanese culture in Taiwan. The separate storehouse for sacrifice wares also embodies Japanese architecture and culture. Its exterior walls are made of molded cement that was shaped to look like it was made of wood, adding a unique touch to the structure.
The Historic Archives Building of Chiayi City occupies almost 500 square meters, with the fast house standing on 267 square meters and the social affair house taking up 208 square meters. The two houses were reconstructed as ordered by the Chiayi City government, with strict instructions not to change the original structure and layout. The buildings’ original appearance and style were also kept intact. In other words, all restoration work was done while keeping the buildings’ original elements. In addition, the two houses were reconstructed so that they blended well with their surroundings.
In October 1998, the city government declared the buildings as a historic site. The place was then named Historic Archives Building of Chiayi City. It was officially opened to the public on January 5, 2001. It showcases the history of the city, providing displays, photos, and documents about people, events, and other things that have played important roles in shaping the city’s history. If you want to know about Chiayi, this is the best place to go. In fact, if you are new to the city, it is recommended that you go to this place first so that you will have an overview of what the city is about.
Some half-day and one-day tours offered to visitors in the city include a trip to the Historic Archives Building of Chiayi City. However, if you wish to spend a longer time at the site, you can go there on your own. It is not difficult to reach the building. Just take the high-speed railway to Chiayi Station. From there, take a bus going to the site. You may also take the regular train to Chiayi Railway Station, then ride County Bus 2 going to Chiayi Park.
You may also drive to the Historic Archives Building of Chiayi City. From Freeway 1, take the Chiayi Interchange exit and proceed to County Highway 159A. Head toward Qiming Road and Gongyuan Road. Alternatively, from Freeway 3, take the Zhuqi Interchange exit and go to Dongyi Road. From there, proceed to Highway 159 and look for Xinsheng Road, Minquan Road, Qiming Road, and finally Gongyuan Road.