Hsinchu City's East Gate, or Yingxi Gate, is the last standing gate of the old walled city of Zhuqian, and also one of the last remnants of the entire city wall itself. It is one of the most impressive historical sites in Hsinchu and is worth a visit for anyone in the area.
After the settlement of the area by Han Chinese farmers in about 1711, what was then known as Zhuqianshe became the most important economic area in northern Taiwan. By 1723, a walled city was built here out of bamboo, because brick walls were forbidden for fear of a revolt against the Qing authorities. The name Zhuqiancheng (竹塹城) literally means bamboo moat city. The bamboo-walled city had four gates and its perimeter was about 1.4 KM long. In 1806, the city was upgraded with earthen walls. In 1828, the city walls and gates were finally made into brick, with the perimeter covering 2.7 KM, and walls 5 meters high, the center of the city being the Chenghuang City God Temple. The east gate was known as Yingxi Gate (迎曦門), the west gate was known as Yishuang Gate (挹爽門), the South Gate was known as Gexun Gate (歌薰門), and the North Gate was known as Gengchen Gate (拱宸門). The east, west, and south gates all had cannons. There were also four main roads named after each gate. Outside the city, a moat was built. During the Opium Wars, another earthen half-circle of wall was built to fend off the English who had attacked the nearby. This earthen city was much bigger than the original brick city wall and included 8 more city gates.
In 1901, the Japanese government decided to redesign the City of Hsinchu and destroyed all the gates and walls except the existing East Gate. Part of the old moat exists still as well.
The East Gate has been preserved, recently being renovated in 1999, and has now been made into a park and square, as well as an art exhibition space.
How to get there:
The north gate is within walking distance of Hsinchu TRA station. There is limited paid parking nearby.
Please see below:
I have been to the Hsinchu East Gate three times. It is one of the most iconic landmarks in Hsinchu.
I rode there on a Youbike. On the way there I ran across this hipster art village. Seems interesting.
And I rode under the train tracks to get to east Hsinchu.
First view of the East Gate. Can you see it?
Thar she blows.
Side view of the East Gate.
The safest way to get to the east gate is to walkdown these steps on the southwestern side.
This river is what is left of the old city moat, and is called Hsinchu Moat Park (護城河親水公園).
Underground passageway to the east gate, covered in mirrors. Often there are art installations here.
Remnants of the old city wall.
Part of the wall here was complimented with a Japanese or ROC era bridge.
I assume you can read the above sign okay.
Another old bridge that used to go over the river which has now been diverted.
View of the East Gate through the rubble.
Closer view of the east gate.
View from underneath.
Main tunnel under the gate.
Closeup view of the blocks.
View from inside.
No way up, but there is a door up there.
Stele probably noting the history at the time it was built.
Another view of the stonework.
Stone street nearby.
Dongning Temple just across the street.
Hsinchu Train Station is just 400 meters away.
More photos of the area are in the gallery above.
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