Kaiji Matsu Temple

Kaiji Matsu Temple (Kāijī Tiānhòu Gōng 開基天后宮) While the Grand Matsu Temple was the first to be dedicated as an “Official Rights Tianhou Temple,” the first temple in the historic Chikan area devoted to Matsu is the nearby Kaiji Matsu Temple. Kaiji means inaugural, which makes one think this is the oldest Matsu temple in … Continue reading

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Old Tainan District Courthouse

Old Tainan District Courthouse (Táinán Dìfāng Fǎyuàn 台南地方法院) Compared with the new courthouse on Jiankang Road in Anping, which is a modern building that looks large enough to employ half the city, the old courthouse seems antiquated and small. That wasn’t the case when the old courthouse was built. It was an immense and modern … Continue reading

Presbyterian Legacy in Tainan

Presbyterian Legacy in Tainan The Presbyterian Church of Taiwan is the largest Christian denomination in Taiwan and has had a long and involved history with the culture and politics of the island. People serving the church have been an evangelical force, a voice for Taiwan independence, a promoter of the Taiwanese language, and a provider … Continue reading

Japanese-Era Shop Houses

A Japanese-era Shop-house

Japanese-Era Shop-Houses Tainan has beautiful historic temples and attractive modern sky-rises, but through most of the city, the clutter of signs, shop-houses, and apartments are pretty unappealing to the eye. Lets face it. Much of what was built in Tainan from the fifties through the eighties is nothing short of ugly. Most apartments and shop-houses … Continue reading

Zhu Sanduo Temple

Zhu Sanduo Temple (Zhù Sānduō Miào 祝三多廟) There is more beneath the Dongmen Road Bridge than a couple of bars, some train tracks, and the toxic tunnel. There’s also a little piece of the east side’s cultural history being overshadowed by the unsightly overpass. Easily over-looked, this little temple actually dates back to 1717, and … Continue reading

Fahua Temple

Fahua Temple (Fǎhuá Miào 法華寺) The great buzz of activity that surrounds many of the Taoist temples in Tainan can easily be countered by the monastic calm of Buddhist temples such as Fahua Temple in the southern part of the central district. In the early morning hours you can hear a deep chanting emanating from … Continue reading

Dongyue Hall (East Mountain Temple)

Dongyue Hall (Dōngyuè Diàn 東嶽殿) If you want to make amends for misdeeds or talk with dead relatives, Dongyue Hall is the place to go in Tainan. Many people go there to pray for the deceased and sometimes to communicate with them through spirit mediums. Dongyue Hall translates to East Mountain Temple which is a … Continue reading

Old Tainan Prefecture Hall (National Museum of Taiwan Literature)

Whether a tourist or resident of Tainan, it is unlikely the large European-style building on the Minsheng traffic circle has escaped your eyes. It seems a bit out of place and is so well-restored that it almost looks like it was recently built to serve as the newly conceived National Museum of Taiwan Literature that … Continue reading

Tainan Police Headquarters

Tainan Police Headquarters While the spic n’ span condition of this building might make you think it is relatively new, the headquarters of the Tainan Police Bureau on Nanmen Road is actually an old heritage building dating from 1931. Located just across the road from the Confucian Temple and the Prefecture Hall, this functioning police … Continue reading

Baoan Railway Station

Baoan Railway Station (Bǎoān Huǒchēzhàn 保安火車站) The small town of Baoan just to the south of Tainan doesn’t have a lot of tourist draws, but it does get a name for itself due to its cute little Japanese-era train station. Taiwan’s railway line was started just before the Japanese occupation in 1895, however most of … Continue reading