Originally called Orlande and then Fort Zeelandia, this fortress was built in the 1620s by the Dutch. Now part of Tainan, the town was originally called Anping, and the site is now known (in Chinese) as Anping Fort.
The fort was an important stop for the Dutch East India Company, before heading to Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, India, or Europe (among other places).
They built the fort on a peninsula far enough out to allow for protection of the harbor and to provide for reinforcements, but unfortunately this required supplies (including drinking water) to be shipped in.
Less than half a century later, China moved in and eventually took control of Taiwan after a nine-month seige at this very fort. Not much remains of the original fort today - some walls mainly - but there is a lot of information with good English signage and the site serves as a good museum.
This is a tiered wall. It is purely decorative and unoriginal. But if it was dry (it rained a lot that day) you could enjoy a rest here. If you're allowed on the wall. I don't remember. If you're wondering where the bricks from the original walls went, take a look at the Eternal Golden Castle, among other places.
Hike up these modern stairs to get a slightly higher view. I'm not sure what the point of this little balcony was.
An ugly modern tower serves as an observation deck. I climbed the steps to the top.
From the observation tower, you can see a lot of the sites around Anping. Here's a temple
I think I visited this temple but I am not really sure - they all look so similar and there are several in the area.
A large gate near the temple.
Some time this week I'll give you posts about some of the old Dutch buildings that remain in the area. You can see the old Tait and Company Merchant House pretty well from here.
Heading back down to the bottom of the fort, you can see that the fort is a nice park.
If it wasn't so hot and humid, I would enjoy strolling around here every once in a while.
Some old cannons have been put on display.
More stepped walls.
A nice park area and certainly worth the price of admission. Just don't expect anything too accurate, architecturally.
Looking back up the stairs and tiers at the trees and observation deck, all not part of the original fort.
This might be the most obvious (and most ignored) historical materials. This should be part of the original fort - it's certainly weathered and rough enough compared to the smooth, well-laid bricks found in most of the park. I didn't see anyone around here looking at the old stuff, just browsing up top in the Japanese occupation-era customs building. I somehow missed the original remaining wall, covered somewhat in white plaster. I guess that's something to look for if I can ever go back to Tainan.
The Fort is open from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM, and admission is NT$50. It's worth a visit, but be sure to find the actual old stuff!