Fort San Domingo


淡水紅毛城 Fort San Domingo
886 (02) 26231001
admission: 60NT

Tamsui’s most famous site is Fort San Domingo.  It is one of the most treasured historical site in Taiwan.  Fort San Domingo could trace its origins back to 1626 when it was a Spanish colony.  Through the years, a lot of nationalities clashed & fought with each other in Tamsui and Fort San Domingo is the perfect witness of that rich history.

When we entered the place, I made sure that I get the 10NT brochure of the place.  I was certain that I had to do a lot of reading in order to understand the rich history of Tamsui’s Fort San Domingo.  I could really feel that this is a place close to the heart of taiwanese people.   We were even lucky enough to go to Fort San Domingo when they were having the UNESCO Heritage Days that celebrate the historic sites of Tamsui.

Here are the series of events that can describe simply the various cultures that made Fort San Domingo to what it is now:

  • 1629-1641 – Spanish army occupied Tamsui as the base of their colony in Taiwan
  • 1642-1661 – the Dutch colonized Southern Taiwan & drove out the Spaniards.  The Dutch built a new fort on the site called Fort Antonio.
  • 1683-1867 – Chinese government controlled the fort.
  • 1868-1972 – the British took over the fort & made it their trade consulate.
  • 1980 – Republic of China reclaimed the land.  The fort was classified as a grade one listed historical site & was renovated & opened to the public.

Fort San Domingo has 2 buildings in its site:

  • Fort Antonio
It was first constructed by the Dutch as a defense in 1644 but was rebuilt by the British as a consulate office after.  The exterior was painted red.  Battlements & watchtowers were added as well as balcony, storerooms & yards.

The lower floor was converted into jail consisting of 4 prison cells.  Foreigners who committed crimes in Taiwan were kept in this jail as they were exempt from judgements of the local laws.

Upper floor was divided into 4 rooms.  Facilities like incinerator, safe, vault, fireplaces can be found inside those rooms.





  • Former British Consular Residence
A colonial-style house built by the British that featured French windows, verandahs & raised foundation which were designed to provide better ventilation & drainage.




More pictures here.


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