Hobe Fort (Aka Huwei Fort) is a Qing Dynasty era fortress in Tamsui, New Taipei that once has massive guns that protected the waterways nearby. The fort is included in a historical monument ticket that allows you to see other historical buildings in the area. It is also one of the best preserved historical fortresses in Taiwan.
After the Sino French War in which the French threatened Tamsui and Keelung, the Qing Dynasty decided to fortify their coastline in Taiwan, building forts at Keelung, Tamsui, Penghu, Tainan, and what is now Kaohsiung.
Hobe fort in Tamsui was completed in 1888 and designed by Liu Mingchuan.
The fort never saw any military action, which has helped preserve the fort.
After the Japanese took over Taiwan, they took out the canons and turned the fort into a practice ground for troops.
After the ROC took over Taiwan, they placed troops at the fort for a while, before turing the fort over to the central government, who have opened it to the public.
The walls of the fort are 4.2 meters thick and 7 meters high. There is also an outer earth wall. The fort only has one gate facing north.
9:30 AM to 5 PM
80 NT per person (includes entrance toFort San Domingo and the Little White House)
How to get there:
By Car/Scooter: Take provincial highway 2 north from Taipei until you reach Tamsui. The fort is near Heping Park off highway 2. Parking can be found in front of the fort.
By MRT: Take the red line MRT north to Tamsui station and walk 1 KM north or take a bus/taxi to the fort.
Please see below:
I have been to Hobe Fort twice and was very impressed both times.
You can buy a ticket to the fort here or use the pass you bought at Fort San Domingo or the little white house.
View of the entrance to the fort.
The fort is one of the best preserved Qing Dynasty forts in Taiwan, and has the original four letters above the gate "北門鎖鑰" meaning "The key to the north gate" This seems odd to me because the fort only has one gate and it points south.
Map of Hobe Fort outlining the different parts of the structure:
View of the wooden doors inside the gate.
Another view closer inside.
Steps up above the gate, that are off limits.
Side rooms in the fort.
"A brief history of Hobe Fort's Artillery"
"Founded in 1886, Hobe Fort was one of the ten forts built for establishing the defense system of Taiwan and Penghu by the governor, Liu Mingchuan, after the end of the Sino-French War. In 1996, the plan of the exhibition hall for its culture and history was completed and became the basis for the opening and exhibition. Along with the implementation of revised Cultural Heritage Preservation Act in 2005, its management and competent authority were re-adjusted and designated as the national monument bill now."
What the original canons in the fort may have looked like.
"Historical Records of Artillery in Qing Dynasty"
"Regarding the artillery of Hobe Fort, it was recorded in Taiwan Armament Report submitted to the British Foreign Affair Office and the Naval commander Sir John Walsham Bart by Fred S.A. Bourne, Tamsui British consular officer in 1889, "Recently, Captain Balfour of HEROINE, commander Martin of REBEL, Lieutenant Commander Maxwell of DORBEETLE have supervised the establishment of the new fort at Tamsui Port (now known as Hobe Fort): one 12-inch, one 10-inch, and two 8-inch."
A cute Qing Dynasty soldier display.
Window to the outside.
A hologram of one of the canons.
View of the inner courtyard.
A storage room.
Iron rack used for art exhibitions.
"Utilizing corridor space"
"In addition to the permanent display, there are also various exhibitions hosted in the corridors. The iron rack is used for putting up these exhibitions, they are not used to support the roof."
View of one of the turrets on the roof, which held one of the Barbette canons that could turn 360 degrees.
View toward the entrance from the top turret.
Soil was placed on the top of the fort intentionally to reduce the impact from shells.
Another turret on the back side.
Ventilation coming out of the roof around the fort.
View of the center of the fort. A few buildings used to sit in the center.
Another Barbette turret on the other side.
The inner wall near the turret.
Remains of another structure near the turret.
Another view of the Barbette turret.
Another turret on the edge of the fort.
View of the wall near the entrance.
Looking toward the center of the fort.
Do not climb those stairs.
Looking at Tamsui from the top of the entrance to the fort.
Looking back from the entrance of the fort.
The post where a Qing Dynasty Barbette canon once sat, from which it could turn in a circle.
Old artillery storage spaces.
Going back inside the fort.
There are free tours of the fort three times a day.
Another corridor in the fort.
View outside with part of the wall of one of the old central buildings still intact.
Some more displays about the history of Tamsui inside.
A small window connecting rooms. Probably to pass on artillery.
Model of the original fort in its glory.
Model of Tamsui harbor back in the day. As you can see the land has since been excavated to make the river mouth wider, but also harder to defend.
Another view of the central courtyard.
Closer view of the last wall standing in the courtyard.
Another storage room inside.
View on the right side looking in.
A nice restored wooden door and electric switch board for employee use.
Some nice tables and an LCD display inside.
The only physical canon on site.
Exiting out of the fort.
Nice lion doorknob, not sure if this is historical or not.
There is also a footpath next to the fort where you can explore the earth embankments.
View of the wall outside.
Another view of the gate from the outside.
Map of the area.
Some artsy architecture near the parking lot.
Right next to Hobe fort is a Confucius temple.
It just goes to show there is so much to explore in Tamsui. Stay tuned for more of our blogs on the Tamsui area to come soon!
We are US Expats that have extensive experience living and working in Taiwan. In our day, we had to learn many things about Taiwan the hard way. But we have come to learn that Taiwan is one of the best places in the world for Foreigners to live. Our blog does not represent the opinions of every foreigner in Taiwan. We are just trying to help others learn more about this beautiful country.