Tainan's Chihkan Towers/Fort Provintia/Sakam Tower, Taiwan

 Built in 1653, this fort has a long history of name changes. But none of that matters, really - you're here to enjoy the architecture, art, and history.
 After you enter, you pass through a large front yard (seen well in the previous picture). Around the yard are various monuments and plaques. This one shows the Dutch surrendering to Koxinga forces.
 Additionally, an outbuilding holds a gift shop, restrooms, and I think some food.
 To the left of one of the towers is a small pond with a nice waterfall. If all the kids would have stopped getting in the way, I could have moved to a different location and taken a nice peaceful shot. However, this place was quite busy (as were several of my other stops in Tainan).
 These are called Bixi. They are stone turtles with some sort of plaques on top. The plaques generally are used for important events or for very important funerals. I don't know what these represent.
 With the kids moved a bit, I could take a shot of a bixi and the waterfall in the distance.
 There is another small pond with a waterfall on the other side of the first tower.
 A wall with a round doorway leads to the back half of the property.
 On the side, these steps lead up into the first tower. I skipped those and moved further back...
 Here is the second tower, which sits behind the first! A small courtyard here is a nice place to stop (most people were hanging out in the front area or on the balcony around the first tower.
 Looking back from the corner of the property, you can kind-of see both towers.
 In the corner of that property is a small school - Peng Hu. The "door" is open so you can take a quick look inside, but it isn't really special.
 A strange door is against the back wall perpendicular to the school.
 I'm not going to tell you where this photo was taken but the sign that you see talks about the octogonal door.
 Now, let's go inside the tower. Similar to temples, a great deal of architectural and artistic detail can be found in the rafters.
 Here's a broader look at one of the bottom floors.
 Upstairs, this is what I believe to be a statue of the God of Literature. Things are somewhat more quiet when you are in the towers.
 But you can go outside on the balconies and see the opposite tower. This is a great angle to examine the roof work.
 Speaking of the roof, let's look up at the rafters again! This time on the top floor.
 And here is a wider shot as well.
Would you like one photo in the middle? Notice the details on the tan pieces as well as the center post, in addition to all the brackets and corners and such!

Chihkan Towers (the current name, by the way) is the most popular historical site in Tainan (according to the ticket). Apparently it looks beautiful at night as well. It's accessible along the tourist bus route (ask for details at the TIC) or take a taxi. It's open 8:30 AM to 9 PM; admission is only NT$50. If the crowds are lighter, you can really enjoy it, but as part of a long, hot, rushed, crowded day, I couldn't appreciate this as much as I would have liked. Still, a must-see if you go to Tainan.

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