Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Few Posts on Keelung I - The Keelung Harbour Integrated Administration Building



Passed through the Taiwan port city of Keelung (Jilong) over Easter. As a port Keelung is on the decline though the city, a 40 minute train ride from Taipei, remains a bustling and crowded place. The area behind the train station is particularly tight knit. So I’m going to post about a few interesting places and buildings in Keelung.


Keelung is nicknamed the Rainy Port - indeed it rained all day when I visited. The history is a mix of influences of those who've occupied the port over the centuries - the Spanish for a while and between 1642 to 1661 and then again between 1663-1668, the Dutch – they were ousted for a couple of years by the great Anti-Qing pirate Koxinga. The Keelung Campaign was an important subsidiary campaign in the Sino-French War (August 1884 to April 1885) and the French occupied the port from October 1884 to June 1885 and then after the 1895 Treaty of Shimonoseki, which handed all Taiwan over to Tokyo, the Japanese ran the port.


And a building worth looking at if you visit is one of the structures the Japanese left behind - Keelung Harbour Integrated Administration Building – close to the train station on the harbour. It also includes what is now the main Post Office in Keelung (left). It was Japanese designed and built and was completed in 1934 as the headquarters of the Keelung Harbour Integrated Administration. Now the main building hosts a variety of firms as well as some of the present harbour authority’s offices and the aforementioned post office.







OK, so it’s not the most gorgeous building in the world – but is a pretty good example of Japanese modernist colonial architecture of the time – you see the same in Korea as well as parts of northern China and Manchuria, particularly Changchun. The interior seems fairly well preserved and actually the entrance lobby (left) is still rather nice though sadly a bit cluttered and not lit well.





A Few Posts on Keelung II – The Cimetière Française de Kilung


A Few Posts on Keelung III – The Monument to Prince Kitashirakawa

A Few Posts on Keelung VI - Ershawan Fort


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