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Chihkan Tower

Famous complex with various uses over its long history

Chihkan Tower Tainan

The Chihkan Tower (赤崁樓), previously known as Fort Provintia, is a former Dutch outpost in the city of Tainan. First built in 1652, it has since gone through various revisions and refurbishments as its use changed over the last few hundred years. There are therefore lots of interesting archaeological findings in the complex that illustrate Chihkan Tower’s various roles, from administrative to defensive.

The complex used to have a fort that the Dutch intended to use to cement their standing in the area, and while much of it was destroyed in an earthquake in the 19th century, archaeological digs have uncovered much of the old structure. Visitors can now see much of this, so the site is of particular interest to history buffs. It’s library also documents the old Siraya language that was used by the native people of Tainan.

Inside Chihkan Tower

These days the complex is host to Haisheng Temple and Wengchang Pavilion, two wonderfully decorated buildings reminiscent of old times. The 9 stone plinths near the south gate are quite a sight too, so be sure to read the information boards nearby that explain their relation to the turtle-shaped stone Bixi and other folklore tales and legends.

How to get there

Various public buses depart from Tainan Station to Chihkan Tower, but it’s very close, so consider walking. It’s a 15 to 20 minute walk from the station. Alternatively you could use the Tainan Sightseeing Bus from the station. Tickets and passes are available to buy on the bus or at the ticket booth near the station.

Hours and fees

Hours: 8:30am to 9:30pm

Admission: NT$50. If going to other attractions in Tainan, it’s cheaper to get yourself a Tainan Historic Sites Pass.

Written by Matthew Baxter

After writing a few books about Japan and New Zealand, I've decided to explore Taiwan and put my expertise into writing about this beautiful place. I love to travel around Taiwan!

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