Fort San Domingo (紅毛城) is an amazing insight into how many different foreign nations have tried to colonize Taiwan. It was first established by the Spanish way back in 1628, before being torn down as they were pushed away by the invading Dutch in 1642. The Dutch then built Fort Antonio near the ruins, which is what you’ll be able to see today. Located on a hilltop that overlooks the Tamsui estuary, the fort has thick stone and brick walls reminiscent of the era, which provided a strong defense against any potential invaders.
After the first Opium War, the British leased the fort from the Qing rulers, and started to use it as their consulate for the port town of Tamsui. It therefore has some similarities to The British Consulate at Takow in Kaohsiung. Many changes were made to the complex to handle consular matters, such as building the consular residence, a grand Victorian building on the eastern side of the fort. All these European influences and designs have led this attraction to have a particularly unique atmosphere.
How to get there
From Tamsui Station you can take buses R26, 836 or 857 to Fort San Domingo (10 minutes, NT$15). It is also possible to take a YouBike (around 7 minutes) or walk there (around 20 minutes), by heading up the bay and following signs. There is a YouBike station just outside Tamsui Station.
Hours and fees
Hours: 9:30am to 5pm (Monday to Friday), 9:30am to 6pm (weekends).
Closed: Chinese New Years and the first Monday of every month
Admission: NT$60. The Tamsui Historical Museum Ticket, NT$80, includes Fort San Domingo, Tamsui Customs Officer’s Residence and Hobe Fort.