8 June 2020

Qishan Old street and nearby temples

Qishan Old Street 

Qishan Old Street is located in Qishan District, Kaohsiung City. It refers to Zhongshan Road in Qishan, which was opened during Japanese occupation. On this old street, there are "stone arches and pavilions" designated as historical buildings and baroque street houses, in addition to cultural assets such as Qishan Station and Qishan District Farmers' Association. This old street was voted 24th in the 2001 selection of historical buildings.

The Qishan area was originally the seat of the Takarian of the Shiraza ethnic group, and it was later reported that the people of Zhangzhou, who lived in Fengshan at the end of the Qing Emperor Kangxi, recruited monks from Fujian Tingzhou. They rented the land to the Dajieyu people, and because they built bamboo rafts and planted sweet potatoes here, they are known as "sweet potato glutinous rice dumplings". Later, in the case of the increase in the number of Han Chinese residents, it developed into a sweet potato county in 1752.

After entering the Japanese occupation period, the local street began to change into a checkerboard layout after the introduction of street corrections on April 14th 1903. After that, the old streets of the Qing Dynasty near the stream gradually declined, and the core moved to "Bentong" (now Zhongshan Road). The Baroque street house on the Zhongshan Road was built between 1925-1930 by the street chief Chen Shunhe and others. For military land, after coordination, more than 660 pings of the original training grounds were set up in the northern section, and more than 500 pings of the original battalion were set up in the southern section. Finally, a total of 19 foreign buildings were built, each with a width of 1 foot and 5 feet.

After the Second World War, after the extension of Yanping Road in May 1965, the prosperity of Zhongshan Road was replaced, but many small retail and food stores were still on streets. While Zhongshan Road has maintained its width of 5 meters to 1981, it expanded the project in September of that year and widened the width to 9 meters. As the street still retains many cultural assets, it's developing in cultural tourism. After that, it became a tourist attraction, and there are many tourists visiting for holiday.

The main body of the Baroque street house is a sloping roof with brick and wood structure, while the façade is mostly made of reinforced concrete beams and bricks. In addition, the exterior wall will be decorated with stone washing methods, decorated with bricks or tiles.

Qishan Tianhou Palace

Qishan Tianhou Temple is the main center of the sea god Mazu. It's the belief center of the Qishan. The square in front of the temple was site for the inspection of the Luohanmen Gate. During the Japanese occupation period, it was a market. At that time, there was a public market in the Pinghe Street to disperse the crowd. After the Second World War, there was a "new market" which was now demolished.

Qishan Tianhou Temple is located in the Fandi Street in the outer gate. Before the establishment of the Tianhou Palace, the most important temple in the area was Futun, and the original “Baishu” was in the south of Futun. In 1805, Xue Zhiliang, a magistrate of Taiwan County, advocated the construction of Tianhou Palace. In 1816, Wu Tingdong, Li Damo, and Chen Qilu successively paid for donations of the Fanshu Street. After many years of fundraising, they finally completed and started construction. Temple was completed in 1824.

Qishan Wude Hall

The Qishan Wide Hall was completed in January 1934. It was transferred to the Kaohsiung County Police Station for use after the Second World War. The fire broke out at noon on October 16th 1994 and the wood structure was partially burned. Only R.C strengthened the brick wall and beam column and the rear auxiliary structure. The Qishan Wude Hall was originally a mixed Tang and He style architecture. Its walls and beams are RC reinforced brick structures and the top is covered with black girders of wooden beams. 

After the Qishan Town Office recovered the property rights of the Wude Hall, it sought to prepare for the renovation. The reconstruction project was held on July 25, 2000. On November 18, 2001, the completed Wude Hall was officially opened, but it was not repaired as it was. The original black tile roof was changed to a glass curtain which caused controversy. In April 2014, the second renovation project was carried out, and the glass roof of the Wude Temple was demolished and changed to the black tile roof, and the surrounding landscape was beautified. It was opened on December 21, 2014. 

Kaohsiung Qishan Confucius Temple

The Kaohsiung Qishan Confucius Temple is located in Gushan Park (formerly Zhongshan Park). It covers an area of ​​4.1 hectares and is the largest Confucius Temple in Taiwan and Southeast Asia. The Confucius Temple in Qishan was the only Confucius Temple in Kaohsiung County before the merger of the county and city in Kaohsiung in 2010.  

The predecessor of the Confucius Temple in Qishan was the Qishan Shrine built during the Japanese occupation in Taiwan. After the National Government took over Taiwan, the shrine building was destroyed. It was not until 1983, when the then Kaohsiung County magistrate Cai Mingyao promoted, the Qishan Shrine was converted into the Confucius Temple in Kaohsiung County. After two years of construction, it was completed in 1985.

In February 2016, a 6.6-magnitude earthquake occurred, causing many disasters in southern Taiwan. The Confucius Temple in Qishan was also damaged by the earthquake. The Dacheng Hall of the Confucius plate has 18 pillars and columns. The cracks fell, and the south wall was peeled off and the steel bars were clearly exposed.
After the earthquake, the Qishan District Office and the Kaohsiung City Civil Engineers Association went to the Confucius Temple in Qishan for disaster damage identification. After assessment by the construction technicians, most of the damage was found to be non-structural damage. Kaohsiung Municipal Civil Affairs Bureau used the disaster reserve fund to repair the Qishan Confucius Temple at the end of April 2016. The total repair cost was about NT$1.2 million. The restoration project was completed in early August of that year.

There are two buildings in Qishan Confucius Temple, Dacheng Gate, Dacheng Hall, Dongxiu Temple and Chongsheng Temple, but there is no design of Wanwan Palace Wall and Dianchi Lake. From the foothills of Qishan City to the Qishan Confucius Temple, you must go via 500-step ladder to the first platform, enter the first Xingxing Gate. After entering the first step through the first comet door, there is a ladder on each of the left and right sides to enter the second platform and the main building of the Confucius Temple.
The main building follows the architectural style of the Song Dynasty. It's decorated with yellow glazed tiles and white jade linings, including facilities such as Xingxingmen, Dachengmen, Dacheng Hall, Dongxiu and Chongsheng. Dacheng Hall is located on the base of the independent platform, which is used for dance. The dance of the Confucius's birthday in the interpretation ceremony is the use of the dance dedicated to Son of Heaven. The Eight Diagrams of the Confucius Temple at Qishan Mountain has a total of 64 people in 8 rows and 8 columns.

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