On a hill offering a picturesque view of the mouth of the Tamsui River into the Pacific Ocean, today’s Fort San Domingo is named after the first fortress built by the Spaniards in 1628. The Spaniards tore the fort in 1642 before the arrival of the Dutch. These, in turn, built a fort called “Fort Antonio” near the ruins of Fort San Domingo.
As the inhabitants of Tamsui at the time called the Dutch contemptuously as red-haired savages, the fortress was called Hong Mao Chen, which means “red hair fortress” in Chinese. After 1863, the British renovated the building and used it as a consulate office. At that time it got its original name again and became an unusual combination of military fortress and diplomatic office.
Next to the fort stands another significant building of the region, the former British Consular Residency. Built in the late 19th century, this elegant Victorian house contains some Chinese elements and now serves as a museum. In addition to these two buildings, there are other historical sites on the hill, such as White House, Red Castle, Aletheia University or Oxford College.
Good to know:
Opening hours: Monday – Friday 9:30 – 17:00; Saturday & Sunday 9:30 – 18:00; closed on the first Monday of the month and on Chinese New Year’s Day
Entrance: Combination Ticket 80 NT$
Website: www.tshs.ntpc.gov.tw (Chinese/English)