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Tamsui Fort San Domingo

Tags: architecture | fort | Tamsui

The Fort San Domingo was initially built in 1628 by the Spanich with mud, bamboo and wood during their occupation in Tamsui. It was an important site for commercial, missionary, military and political activities.

In 1642, the Dutch, conquered Keelung and drove away the Spanish, who destroyed the fort before thier departure. On the same location, the Dutch rebuilt the fort and renamed it "Anthonio". It was renovated in 1644, with limestone and heavy bricks added to strengthen the fortress.

The Fort San Domingo site is located on the hilltop by the estuary of Tamsui River. The main building of the fort forms a square shape with varied-dimensioned domes on two floors. The present architecture was renovated by the British in the nineteenth century and remains well-preserved today. There are four consular offices on the first floor and prison cell on the ground floor. An entrance was added to the south wing and parapets and turrets were added to the roof.

The British Consulate is an elaborate red-brick architecture, with its balcony built to the British colonial style. There are curved arches on the ground floor and circular arches on the first floor. The main entrance is supported by twin pillars with intricate carvings, among which the rose design symbolizes England, and "VR1891" refers to the reign of Queen Victoria.

Fort San Domingo, before 1905

Fort San Domingo, 1925

Fort San Domingo, 1970




Text and images are provided by Tamsui Historical Digital Archives Program,Taiwan (Department of Architecture, Tamkang University)