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Old FongShan City - The First Stone Walled City in Taiwan | 左營舊城的「舊城」


Old FongShan City - Lotus Pond to be continued | Stone Walled City

Charming! Inspiring!

I love to visit to a historical site and to see a walled city if any. Two words for the impressions of walled city: "Charming" and "Inspiring".

My favorite walled cities are Chester City Wall [1] and Fukuoka Castle [2]. London's Roman wall and Xian's city wall are both the greatest heritage sites I have seen. I want to travelogue about Chester and Fukuoka for Tsoying's stone walled city as a reference. Why? It's an instinct of my real estate study and cross-border traveling.

For more introduction refer to footnote [1] and [2]. I visited both sites in 2015. I loved the way of their walls have become part of current cityscape.

Two snaps below show Chester walled city: ( Upper: the walled city is far end of high street with o'clock tower.)

I melted into Chester medieval cityscape straightaway. It is probably unlikely for any Asian city to take it as a model of renewal. But, I just love its 'walled city' atmosphere.

Alternatively, Fukuoka Castle is likely a nobtable model.

(Photo credit | Chi Hsu)

Kaohsiung v.s. Fukuoka

Kaohsiung's urban concept, has 4 parameters, I think.

  1. Kaohsiung is a harbour city and owns an international airport.

  2. Tsoying stone walled city is sub-location of inner Kaohsiung. (Kaohsiung city and county merged years ago. Previous Kaohsiung city is more like an inner circuit and Kaohsiung county is likely outer circuit.)

  3. Greenery leisure place is required for citizens.

  4. Cultural and educational facilities enhance for local and overseas visitors.

Fukuoka City and its Castle also has these characteristics. While I visited Fukuoka Castle, it was purely a leisure time to get some historical insights of Fukuoka. It wasn't a field trip to study a walled city. But, I browsed some articles and photos and found Fukuoka Castle's site had made a good heritage regeneration plan for leisure and culture purposes.

In 2016, Tsoying walled city followed up the cultural heritage renovation trend and acquired the fund from public sector.

Stone Walled City in Tsoying (More click to WIKI source >> )

So, let's look my hometown, Tsoying's stone walled city. It was the 2nd walled city with defensive philosophy behind. The 1st one built by stone (more expensive and iconic) and still partly remained well in Taiwan (During Qing dynasty, it was very difficult to have funding approved from central ruler - emperor, to a remote island as Taiwan. This stone-made walls were funded and donated by officers and wealthier merchants across Taiwan.).

As the map below, this stone walled city was built in 1826. Nevertheless, (old) Fengshan's governor and officers didn't move in at all. They stayed at their existed office and eventually only few soldiers lived there to guard the wall (with few hundreds of resident).

After being Japanese colony era and R.O.C government had settled in, Tsoying took the key role of naval and military base as it is a great harbour along its coastal side. On the top of Kwei Shan, the highest point nearby from sea level, if any enemy closing by can be detected.

(Mapping source: 見城官網$2002&IDK=2&EXEC=L)

I discovered archaeology's findings and made some historical research (bought another book - see image below - right: Old City Seeks Out - 舊城尋路), I learned there were very charming and inspiring aspects of history and culture taking place inside or surrounding of the walled city.

(Photo credit | Chi Hsu)

Review "Old City Seeks Out (舊城尋路)" , eight chapters outline this old city's profile: chapter 1: Undeveloped rough city (野望), chapter 2: Earth walled city (土城紀), chapter 3: Twins city (雙城紀), chapter 4: Desolated stone walled city (荒城紀), chapter 5: Destroyed the city (毀城紀), chapter 6: Evacuated the city (空城紀), chapter 7: Hidden the city (隱城紀), and chapter 8: Seeing the city (見城紀).

It is very delightful to see Kaoshiung local authorities enriching its cultural attraction because of Tsoying walled city. And, I am very appreciative of the efforts from private and public sectors to give the city to be seen.

4 Gates - East, North, South, West

Only 3 of 4 gates remain, there are East gate, North gate and South gate. West gate had demolished by Japanese period. Yet, its gate plaque was found and displayed at the gallery of old FengShan.

Richard and I visited East and North gate together in 2017 but we had no idea that its regeneration program was ongoing. However, those walls and outlooks seemed very well-maintained. By now, we know a bit by bit and we also know a great walled city can make a city great again.

(Photo Credit | Chi Hsu)

In 2016, the program was named as 見城 (Jian-Chen, means to See the City) which I love it, especially after I read the book of "Old City Seeks Out - 舊城尋路" and browsed Jian-Chen's official website. Since Ming dynasty, the settlement came in and started to harvest agriculture for their army. During Qing dynasty, they built this first stone wall for defensive purpose. Until now, this mass of land inscribed as a national heritage. The program of renewal looks amazing, such as: gallery, greenery pedestrian park, wall and city moat re-construction as I have experienced in Fukuoka Castle. (For more information (in Chinese) refer to$7002&IDK=2&DATA=-1&EXEC=L)

Finally, the 1st Stone Walled City is going to be seen in Taiwan. Look forward to seeing it

(Source: Official website of (The old walled city has an official website maintained by Cultural Bureau of Kaoshiung City)

See the City

As my previous travelogue mentioned, my mum and nephew were together to attend the old houses tour in August. At the same day, I took them to go North Gate to have an additional browsing around. My nephew probably had no idea what to see, but he cooperated very well (thumb up) while I selfied 3 of us in front of North Gate at the 1st Stone Walled City in Taiwan.

(Photo credit | Chi Hsu)


[1] (Source: Wiki) Chester city walls consist of a defensive structure built to protect the city of Chester in Cheshire, England. Their construction was started by the Romans when they established the fortress of Deva Victrix between 70 and 80 AD. They were further fortified before the Civil War, and were damaged during the war. Following this they ceased to have a defensive purpose, and were developed for leisure and recreation. The walls are now a major tourist attraction, and form an almost complete circuit of the former medieval city, with a total walkway length of 2.95 kilometres (1.8 mi).

[2] (Source: Wiki) Fukuoka Castle (福岡城 Fukuoka-jō) is a Japanese castle located in Chūō-ku, Fukuoka, Japan. It is also known as Maizuru Castle (舞鶴城 Maizuru-jō) or Seki Castle (石城 Seki-jō). Completed in the early Edo period for tozama daimyōKuroda Nagamasa, it has been decreed a historic site by the Japanese government. Much of the castle grounds has been converted to Maizuru Park, which houses several sports facilities, a courthouse, and an art museum.

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