Fort of Anping – or Fort Zeelandia – was built over 10 years from 1624. It was an important administrative, and strategic trading and defense hub while under Dutch rule. With a turbulent 350 year history that reflects the eras through which it has survived, it is known now as Anping Old Fort. The Dutch understood the imperative for market control and chose Fort Zeelandia for its position as the key intersection between trade routes frequented by the Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, and Chinese. This allowed the Dutch to control markets for the goods traded on these routes using their military, the soldiers of which were involved in its construction. When Zheng Chenggong (Koxinga) liberated Taiwan from the Dutch in 1661, he renamed it Anping as a nod to his hometown, and made it his residence. During the Qing dynasty, Anping was usurped by Tainan as the main political center for the island and the fort fell into disrepair. Coming under occupation again, this time by the Japanese, the original building constructed of a distinctive red brick, was almost completely destroyed, leaving only the remnants that now draw travelers curious to learn about its history.
Update: October 13, 2022