Four Hidden Forts in the Most Fortified City in Taiwan That You Won’t Find in a Brochure (I)

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The Most Fortified City Keelung is the most fortified part of Taiwan.[1] The landscape is a strategic masterpiece evidenced by its history of defensive positions in each era of occupation. For example, the Japanese occupation beginning in 1895 spawned nearly 700 bomb shelters resulting in Keelung’s claim to the highest density of hiding spots in all of Taiwan. [2] Hidden … Read More

4 Historical Lighthouses in Keelung #2

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4 Historical Lighthouses in Keelung Lighthouses have long had a unique hold on the human imagination. They are neither of the sea nor of the land. They exist in a liminal zone on the border between the elements, between the known world of houses, streets and hills and the dark, unknowable depths of the ocean. On the one hand, they … Read More

A closer look into 4 Keelung lighthouses

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Lighthouses exist in a liminal zone on the border between the elements, between the known world of houses, streets and hills and the dark, unknowable depths of the ocean. One one hand, they are expressions of man’s noblest ideals: structures whose sole purposes are to save lives, to reassure the lost, and to let societies prosper. On the other, they … Read More

The Tragic Remains of 2 Forts: Baimiweng and Sheliao East

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What do fallen empires leave behind? The Keelung remains from previous empires that can be found around town are astonishing. In a scene of the movie “The Life of Brian”, a zealot asked an assembled group of other zealots: “What have the Romans given us?” The round answers in turn: “The aqueduct?” “And the sanitation.” Et cetera.   Finally, the zealot … Read More

History of The Keelung Martyr’s Shrine

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Have you ever wondered what happened to the Shinto shrines built by the Japanese colonial regime in Taiwan after World War II? Why were there Shinto shrines in Taiwan? There existed a de facto state religion in the Japanese Empire, the so-called State Shinto 国家 神道 (kokka shintou). In Japanese colonies, as well as areas occupied by Japan during the … Read More

Historical Keelung Mayor’s Mansion

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Keelung’s Hidden Museum: Mayor’s Mansion  If you’re tired of touristy museums, Keelung Mayor’s Mansion, painted with decades of history, is perfect for you. Anyone who has spent some time on walks through Taipei or other cities in Taiwan will surely have noticed the countless abandoned and decayed old Japanese homes and thought: It’s a shame that nobody takes care of … Read More

Keelung Culture Taboo: the city’s red light district

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Just a few blocks down from Keelung Miaokou Night Market, you can find the red light district of Keelung. Here the lights are dim, storefronts are partially shuttered and people passing through walk hurriedly with umbrellas hiding their eyes. Rocky ledges of storefronts create a barrier to distance its owners from the street hustlers and scantily clad women; motorcycles zoom … Read More

Keelung Indigenous Culture Hall

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Keelung Indigenous Culture Hall Taiwan culture has many stories to tell. One way of learning the history is through Keelung’s many museums, the Indigenous Culture Hall being a good place to start. There are two ways to explore this museum. One is to follow the route through the building; the other is to use the road outside the building. If this … Read More

The Ruins of Agena Shipyard

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Agena Shipyard’s Glory Days The remains of Agena Shipyard sit quietly by the Bachimen fishery port. Built and operated by American company Agena in the Japanese colonial period, Agena Shipyard had its glory days. For context, much of the region’s prosperity back then was due to its land being rich in precious metals. The gold and copper ores mined in … Read More

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