Restored Monuments Throughout Time
Early Middle Age
Kingdom of Tungning
Taiwan Under Qing Rule
Taiwan Under Japanese Occupation
Taiwan After WWII
Third、Restored Monuments from Different Time Periods
Ever since the prehistoric era, the history of Taiwan has been embellished with charming hues. Even though the origin of native Taiwanese tribes still remains debatable, geneticists and biologists are able to verify the biological and genetic similarities between the native taiwanese tribes and the ethnic groups of Southeast Asia, thus assuming that they were immigrants from islands located in Southeast Asia. The nurture of mountain ranges and the nourishment of fertile lands provided the inhabitants of Taiwan with necessities that enabled them to thrive and prosper. With that, the civilizations and tribes were able to construct sparkling relics and enriched historic records. During the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, technology improved and new inventions emerged in a rapid pace. Many empires began promoting mercantilism and establishing the foundations of economy, politics, and society by plundering and colonizing foreign lands. In 1624, Netherlands invaded the southern part of Taiwan while Spain landed on the northern coast three years later. Throughout the ages of colonization, these two empires were not only involved in countless conflicts against the native Taiwanese tribes but also built lots of castles and forts in western styles that are still well-preserved today. However, the reign of the European didn't last long. The Spanish were driven out by the Dutch while the Dutch were later defeated by the troops led by Zheng Cheng Gong, ending the European colonial rule. At that time, the Zheng family was one of the major forces of Ming loyalists against the Qing government of China. The Ming royalists, led by Zheng, eventually targeted Taiwan and founded the Kingdom of Tuning after repetitive failed attempts to overthrow the Qing Government. After the Zheng family took over the regime, the architectural styles transformed into an integration that involved both the Dutch-Spanish and the traditional Chinese techniques. Each of the architectures is the witness of the great combination of the eastern and western cultures. After that, the Kingdom of Tuning and the Qing Dynasty of China were engaged in numerous negotiations. However, the Qing Dynasty couldn’t stand the fact that its rivals have settled and built a rival kingdom in Taiwan. The Qing government in response dispatched troops to invade Taiwan in 1683, the same year that mutiny broke out within the Tuning Kingdom and people were absent-minded. Therefore, the Qing troops were able to take over Taiwan quickly, reclaiming this territory. During the reign of the Qing government, large number of people from the coastal areas of China migrated to Taiwan, which resulted in an overwhelming amount of Minnan and Hakka cultural influences on the architectural style. According to the cultural characteristics, the architectures often contain the sculptures and portraits of the traditional Chinese gods, which remain as one of the most important cultural heritage of Taiwanese culture.
In 1894, the Sino-Japanese War broke out, the Qing Dynasty and Japan signed a Treaty of Shimonoseki to stop the war, and Taiwan was ceded to Japan. The architectures in Taiwan during the Japanese Occupation period were built in Japanese style. Due to the reason that Japan had an advanced construction method, those buildings lasted for a longer time. Finally, Japan was defeated in 1945 during World War II. Japan agreed to return Taiwan to the Republic of China. At this time, Taiwan's architectural history has gradually matured. The architects learned to integrate many different architectural styles to pass down the beauty of Taiwan through constructions, thus beginning a unique “post-modern” construction trend, which is still widely respected today.
Taiwan undeniably has a long history from the Aboriginal period till today. The reign of multiple political powers and the alternation of Chinese and Western residents created unique Taiwanese monuments that blended Western, Japanese, Chinese, and Aboriginal tribal architectural styles. In order to preserve our history and the cultural heritage left by our ancestors, monument restorers must understand different constructing methods and the use of various materials from each time periods. They have numerous methods to apply when repairing monuments from a different era. From this aspect, it is obvious that monument preservation and restoration is absolutely a profound study.
The following gives examples of restored monuments from different time periods.
Early Middle Age
|Construction Time (Completed)||Approximately 350 years ago|
|Categorization of Historical Sites||Second-class historical site|
|Repair Time||About 4 years to have all restorations completed|
|Representatives of Restoration of Historical Sites (Ancient Monuments)||World Monuments Fund|
|Building Materials before Renovations||Wood, slate, grayish black slate, shale|
|Building Matertials after Renovations||Cement tile pavement, walls and roof are made of slate, columns are made of woods and grayish black slate, shale|
Materials for constructions in Taiwan were mostly those that were easily-obtainable from nature, such as wood and basic one like rocks before the Middle Ages. Buildings from that period are quite traditional, there are less emphasis on outward appearances but more on their functions and operation so rarely any decorations or ornaments are seen for each constructions. During the early prehistoric era, most Taiwanese were cavemen, therefore, such prehistoric relics of theirs must be understood through archaeological ways. Most of the architectures do not need too much repairs or reconstructions since they are now regarded as archaeological sites; however, it is still important to have preservation implementations to prevent those artifacts and monuments from damages. The styles of later prehistoric Taiwanese architectures are mostly stilt houses. Stilt houses were built with wood and straw. The way they were built helped to prevent the houses from being damp or having mosquitos. However, wood and straw would wane as time goes on, therefore, there is no perfect site for people to take pleasure in nowadays. The only way today to show the sites is to rebuild models using the same construction ways and present them in front of the public.
The Kochapongan located in Pingtung City is the only aboriginal site that is perfectly preserved today. It is constructed of slate and many other kinds of construction stones. Under the efforts of the WMF World Heritage Conservation Foundation, Kochapongan is restored in four years. The decayed woods were replaced by new woods, and walls and roofs were repaired after the long period of erosion. The tribe was reconstructed to the way it was like in 350 years ago, when it was built.
|Project Name||Fort San Domingo||Fort Provintia||Fort Zeelandia|
|Construction Time (Completed)||1628||1653||1624|
|Categorization of Historical Sites||First-class historical site||First-class historical site||First-class historical site|
|Repair Time||20 months (2014.7)||About a year(1992)||Restoration started from February to June, 2016Cleaning progress started from April, 2016 for 16 days|
|Representatives of Restoration of Historical Sites (Ancient Monuments)||Department of Civil Engineering, Nation Taiwan University, Urban Planning Division starts examining and planning for the rebuild and Taiwan provincial government is responsible for the restoration||Project planner：Saburō ŌkuraArcheaology investigation：Shan Zhong-ChiaoConstruction：Suketarō ChijiiwaOil paints：Yen Shui-longConstruction design：LU CHIA-HSING||Jens Wagner，Tainan National University of the Arts、Graduate Institute of Conservation of Cultural Relics and Museology、Chimei Museum、Karcher Limited Taiwan|
|Building Materials before Renovations||Red brick, clods, aloes, bamboo and wood||The wall is made up of syrup, glutinous rice juice, and red brick||Glutinous-rice juice, Syrup, Combination of shell ash and brick, Wood，Sandy soil|
|Building Matertials after Renovations||Red natural mineral paint, wood||Reinforced Concrete hadreplaced the woods||Red brick, TilesBattery (fort): Metal|
Taiwan was under the rule of the Europeans from 1624 to 1662. Since many Dutch, Spanish, and a minor group of people from Portugal were heading to Southeast Asia hoping to trade with China and Japan, they occupied the Philippines, Indonesia and Taiwan. Many Western-style buildings were constructed during the era. Due to the prevalence of pirates at that time, Westerners built bunker buildings and artilleries to consolidate the occupation advantages of the harbor. The architectures were mostly designed as squares. Pentagonal bunkers were built to construct artilleries.
Due to the technology at that time, foreigners from the West could only choose their building materials from local materials. Fort San Domingo located in Tamsui was built with Mortar and clods. Chikan Tower and Fort Zeelandia located in Tainan were built with special building materials such as the mixture of syrup, glutinous rice juice, shellfish, and sand since there were mostly farmlands in Tainan.
Kingdom of Tungning
|Project Name||Da Guan Yin Ting Xing Ji Gong||Confucious Temple|
|Construction Time (Completed)||1647~1683||1665|
|Categorization of Historical Sites||Third-class historical site||First-class historical site|
|Repair Time||About 320 years to have all restorations completed||About 40 years to have all restorations completed|
|Representatives of Restoration of Historical Sites (Ancient Monuments)||Lin Renzhengand Liu Jinchang in charge of repair design||Hsu, Cheng-Chieh Constructor, Chong Hui Construction Company|
|Building Materials before Renovations||Wood, rock||Mortar, red brick, wood|
|Building Matertials after Renovations||Reinforced concrete, cement||Red brick, wood, lime|
Taiwan was under the rule of the Kingdom of Tungning from 1662 to 1683. The kingdom was established by the Ming Dynasty loyalist Zheng Cheng Gong. At that time, Ming Dynasty was overthrown by the Qing Dynasty. In order to show his loyalty to Ming Dynasty, the descendants of the Ming emperor established a temporary base in Taiwan to defeat the Qing. Most of the building materials used during this period were same as the ones used by the Europeans. Some variations in construction styles appeared after Zheng Cheng Gong successfully expelled the Europeans, and the Chinese style gradually appeared. Cheng Gong and his men built all kinds of temples in Tainan revealing Chinese culture. At that time, there was an intelligent military adviser called Chen Yonghua who repaired a local temple in Tainan as a scholar, known as the Confucius Temple. This is especially representative, and the temple is still preserved nowadays.
(Confucius Temple in Tainan is constructed in about 300 years ago under the kingdom of Tungning)
Taiwan Under Qing Rule
|Project Name||Shuangtangwu||Sanxia ZushiTemple|
|Construction Time (Completed)||1755||1769|
|Categorization of Historical Sites||Third-class historical site||Third-class historical site|
|Repair Time||The first repair time was after the chaos of the Qing Dynasty, second time of repair was in 1919, and the third repair time was after 921 earthquake||The first repair time was in 1833, the second repair time was in 1899, and the third time on repair was in 1947|
|Representatives of Restoration of Historical Sites (Ancient Monuments)||Liu, Yi Quan Architects Office||Li Mei-shu|
|Building Materials before Renovations||Brick, rock, wood||Rock, wood, copper, gold leaf|
|Building Matertials after Renovations||Brick, rock, wood||Rock, wood, copper, gold leaf|
The Qing court prohibited immigration to Taiwan after conquering Taiwan. Even so, numerous locals continued to sneak into Taiwan and live together through small settlements. Many illegal immigrants would carry figures of deities such as Mazu or the Goddess of Mercy with them during the travel as a reassurance. Some Hakka people would bring their representative gods to Taiwan as a safeguard as well. When the immigrants found people that belong to their same cultural heritage, they would live together as a tribe and construct temples that represent their faiths. When they found people with same last names as theirs, they would marry one another and build residences that belong to their clans.
(Shimizu Patriarch Temple in Sanxia, Taiwan was constructed in about 200 years ago under Qing’s rule)
Taiwan Under Japanese Occupation
Taiwan has a mixture of numerous construction styles developed from different time eras including Western-style, Minnan-style and traditional Japanese-style. The use of reinforced concrete, tiles and pebbles during the Japanese occupation of Taiwan has replaced the traditional Chinese-styled architecture. The Japanese is the one that introduced modern Western architectural ideas into Taiwan. The designers were required to have professional trainings before designing and constructions were conducted by well-educated technicians. On the other hand, private constructions were carried out by the local artisans. As a result, most of the private constructions have a Minnan-style, which also gives Taiwan a long lasting architectural proof revealing its cultural heritage. Japanese-style architecture can be divided into seven categories. One is suitable for the hot weather in Taiwan which is constructed through Western methods, and the second one is Japanese traditional style. The third one shows a structure of simplified and Western-style architecture. The fourth and fifth one is gorgeous and elegant style building and classical style architecture. The use of new building materials of modern architecture is the sixth one. The last one would be imperialist style architecture.
|Project Name||Zhongshan Hall||National Taiwan Museum||Hayashi Department Store|
|Construction Time (Completed)||1932~1936||1933||1932|
|Categorization of Historical Sites||Special municipality historical site||Taipei (city) designated historical site||Tainan(city) designated historical site|
|Repair Time||Four years(1997-2001)||Three years(2006-2009)||Three years(2010-2013)|
|Representatives of Restoration of Historical Sites (Ancient Monuments)||Hsu-Yu Chien Architecture Firm||Yang Ren Jiang architects is responsible for supervision and Fu Qing construction company is responsible for the restoration processes||Hsu-Yu Chien Architecture Firm, Chang-YongConstruction.Co.,Ltd|
|Building Materials before Renovations||Reinforced concrete, rock, brick||Reinforced concrete, plaster, rock, iron, wood, fence||Washed granothilic, face brick|
|Building Matertials after Renovations||Reinforced concrete, rock, brick||Reinforced concrete, plaster, rock, iron, wood, fence||Tile, rock|
Taiwan After WWII
Before 1945, Taiwan was under Japanese occupation. After 1945, even though Taiwan was already out of Japanese rule, its construction industry still stagnates due to the occurrence of the February 28 incident in 1947. Taiwan’s construction industry did not revive until the 1950s with the assistance of the United States. There are lots of new styles coming into Taiwan including the Northern Chinese Palace style and Chinese Classical style since the central government of R.O.C migrated to Taiwan after the Chinese Civil War. As time progresses, Taiwan started to impose the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act to protect ancient architectures. Hence, people nowadays have such an opportunity to see so many well-retained historical sites. Through these ancient cultural sites, the relevance and importance of Taiwan history is exposed, and the significance of monument restoration can be witnessed in the countless reconstruction projects all around Taiwan.