27 April 2018

Historic buildings of Hsinchu City

Hsinchu, the windy city of Taiwan. It's the oldest city of Northern Taiwan with 400 years history. Originally inhabited by aboriginal people - Taokas tribe. The city's name was Chuchang until the end of 19th century. 

During Qing dynasty (1826) the city walls and four gates was constructed. The East Gate (竹塹城迎曦門) is one of important landmarks of Hsinchu. It's the only gate left, other three was destroyed during Japanese occupation. 

east gate Hsinchu taiwan

east gate Hsinchu taiwan   

In 1733 the main building material of city walls was bamboo. During Qing Dynasty in 1827 people dug a moat and reconstructed wall with brick and stone. In the beginning of Japanese occupation, in 1902, Governor's Office of Taiwan decided urban corrections. The city walls and gates was demolished, leaving only East Gate. 
East Gate is a colonnade-style tower which is two-storey high. There are arched door holes and a title on the top of main entrance. The roof is made of wood, but supported with concrete after renovation. 

During Japanese era Hsinchu was the main administrative center between Taipei and Taichung. 
The city became producing glass for medical equipment until 1960 when started produce craft items. The city became recognizable as a center of decorative glass products.   

See also: Beipu

One of historic buildings worth to see is Hsinchu Railway Station (
新竹火車站). Railway station in Hsinchu was first opened in the end of 1893. The railway building was build in 1908-1913 during Japanese era.
Japanese architect was inspired by western architecture of Gothic and Baroque style which was popular at that time. It's the oldest active station in Taiwan and one of national monuments.
During World War II, the building was destroyed. In 1947 Taiwan Provincial Government raised funds to repair the station. In 1989, after the steam locomotives was completely abolished, the fan-shaped garage was removed. The only one left fan-shaped garage in Taiwan can be seen in Changhua.

train station Hsinchu taiwan

Also Hsinchu State Hall (新竹州廳) is one of monuments. It was built during Japanese occupation and preserved to this day. The hall was built in 1925, the entrance porch was expanded in 1932. In 1945 Hsinchu City Government was established, and the State Hall building was used as an office building. In 1982 Hsinchu became provincial-administrated city and the state office became municipal government office. In 1988 Taiwan Provincial Government listed State Hall as provincial monument. Also in 2000-2005 the building was renovated.
State Hall is built in western style, it's a two-storey brick building. Floor and beam are mainly made of reinforced concrete and the roof made of wood.

You can also visit Hsinchu City Fire Museum (消防博物館). The museum was originally built as fire station. In order to preserve historic value, the building was changed into museum. Inside you can see an old car and equipment used by firefighters.

The most important temple of Hsinchu City is Chenghuang Temple (新竹都城隍廟). The temple was build in 1748 and it's most famous temple in Hsinchu. At first the temple could be not easy to notice among all of that food stalls around. It's a very popular place and many pilgrimages come here to pray.

ChengHuang (meaning city wall and moat) is the city God of justice. It's often believed that prayers in this temple would be rewarded because the dead spirits always inform the God of good and evil deeds. The God not only guards the city but can also be asked to help in natural disasters or help people accused of crime. Hsinchu Chenghuang Temple is one of three main temples. During Qing Dynasty it was the only City God Temple in Taiwan. 

See also: Xinpu

hsinchu chenghuang temple street food taiwam

hsinchu chenghuang temple street food taiwam

During Japanese occupation the temple was renovated and many decorations was added.
Cheng huang's birthday are celebrated on 29th November of Lunar Calendar. Traditionally celebrated with a parade and firecrackers. 
Next to the Chenghuang Temple is Falian Temple which was added here during renovation in 1803.

hsinchu chenghuang temple street food taiwam

The Chenghuang Temple's Night Market has a long history. The market started during Japanese era with only four vendors. As the time pass more and more vendors gathered here. 
The market around temple is opened everyday 10am - 10pm. You can find there many delicious food like oyster omelette, rou yuan (meatballs), shaved ice, cooked mochi and also the traditional bitter tea. 

hsinchu chenghuang temple street food taiwam

hsinchu chenghuang temple street food taiwam

1. 300, Hsinchu City, North District, 東門圓環
2. Hsinchu Moat, East District, Hsinchu City, 300
3. 300, Hsinchu City, East District, Section 2, Zhonghua Rd, 445號號
4. No. 120, Zhongzheng Road, North District, Hsinchu City, 300
5. No. 4號, Zhongshan Road, North District, Hsinchu City, 300
6. No. 75號, Zhongshan Road, North District, Hsinchu City, 300

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