The Qing Military Headquarters in Kinmen is the oldest and one of the best preserved buildings from the Qing dynasty in Taiwan. The complex is completely renovated into a museum, and is full of exhibits, showing visitors exactly what life was like during the Qing dynasty, as well as providing historical background to Kinmen and the surrounding area.
The building itself was built in the 1600s during the Ming Dynasty for the scholar Xuxie (許獬) as a library. During the reign of the Kangxi Emporer starting in1662 (during the Qing Dynasty), the building was transformed into the military headquarters for Kinmen. After the ROC lost the Chinese Civil War, they used the building for government purposes until it was made into the police headquarters in 1958. In 1991 the building was made into a historical monument. In 1995 it was abandoned by the police, and by 2004 renovations had stared on the building. In 2012 the renovations were completed, and the Kinmen Military Headquarters during the Qing Dynasty reopened as a museum.
Hours: 9 AM to 10 PM every day.
How to Get There: The building is in the center of Kincheng near Kincheng Old Street, on Wujiang Street No. 53 (浯江街53號).
Map: Please see below:
The entrance to the complex is usually full of tourists.
Right next door, you can get your fix of bomb shell knives and other knick knacks.
Some historical background information similar to what I wrote above. There is a plant meticulously placed in front of it much to the chagrin of interested foreigners.
The main courtyard.
The main building an office with period manikin.
Period weapons on display.
More weapons and a secret passage downstairs.
Creepy manikin in a cell.
Period shackles and books.
Even creepier manikin guard.
Super creepy crazy prisoner manikin.
"Jail - Exhibition of instruments of torture in Ching's military law"
"The military law of Ching was initiated before it entered Shanhai frontier pass. After that, along with a period of development, prominent officials were ordered to recheck the military law in Yongzheng regime, while the emperor discerned the law by himself. There were forty items of the law in total. Those who violated seriously would be punished by the following ways: whipping, corporeal punishment by wooden rods, parading around troops with arrows inserted on backs, and beheading. Those who only violated slightly wold be given a demerit, a decrease in salary, and demoted to a lower position. In Chinlong, ten items of "concise military discipline" were officially given out in order to discipline the army in fine battle array. Owing to the political decay and military decline in the late Ching, it was quite common that the troops did not follow the discipline, and that the military law had already lost its effect."
Wedding dress on display. Apparently this place is popular for wedding photos using old Chinese costumes.
Traditional wedding clothes and carriage for the bride.
More weapons on display.
I assume you can read the above just fine.
Bedroom in the back of the complex.
Another living room for the top official and his wife.
Swords on display.
Mao of Kinmen as well as a model port.
More historical anecdotes from that time period in Kinmen.
Sample fabric from the military uniforms of the time.
Model boats from the Qing Dynasty.
A model of the full complex in its prime.
Alley in the back of the complex.
"There is no way of knowing now when the cotton trees ion the Kinmen Military Headquarters were planted, but a local resident, Ms. Hong Long-feng (born 1929) says that they were already very large in her earliest memory, so we can surmise that they are over 100 years old. Data from old-tree surveys indicate that these are the largest century-old cotton trees in Southeast Asia. When flowering season arrives the brilliant blossoms embellish the roofs, deepening the sense of historical time and drawing our minds to musings of the remote past.
The huge cotton tree behind the complex.
Old grain mills behind the cotton tree.
Explanation of grease refining techniques of the period.
The above hollowed out log was used for refining grease. The grease was squeezed into the hole in the middle, and the refined grease would drip out of a small opening in the bottom.
Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for more of our adventures in Kinmen!
We are US Expats that have extensive experience living, working, and travelling 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.