My wife (right) outside the entrance to the Huwei Fort (滬尾砲台) in Danshui, Taiwan. The sign is said to have been inscribed by 1880's Taiwan Governor Liu Ming-chuan ( 劉銘傳). I don't understand it: the first two characters read "North Gate". The other two I'll have to look up some time.
We decided to visit Huwei Fort (滬尾砲台) in Danshui, Taiwan today. It's about 15 minutes down the street from Fort Santo Domingo. Huwei Fort is still obscure as Danshui sites go, I guess owing to the point it's an ongoing excavation project, and because not much is known about it. Excavation began in 1991, just 18 years ago.
According to the brochure and sign literature, it was designed by a German lieutenant Max E. Hecht in 1885, following the French-Chinese battle for northern Taiwan. Construction got underway in 1886 and took three years to complete. The excavators are finding that Huwei is in pretty good shape; the fort never saw action, so it was never pounded down by artillery. Like Fort Santiago, Huwei Fort boasts a magnificent view of the mouth of the Danshui River and Guan Yin Mountain in Bali on the other side. For more information, check out eyedoc's interesting blog and this post among others at 漁人碼頭的戰爭 - THE BATTLE OF FISHERMAN'S WHARF: http://danshuihistory.blogspot.com/2009/06/defense-buil-up-in-danshui-1884.html
Our guide told us Liu Ming-chuan built Huwei Fort, but I doubt this. I doubt he lifted not a single brick in its construction. Some Taiwanese like to get romantic about Liu, as he might have not been as entirely incompetent as others who held his office during the Ching Dynasty, and I suspect this was going on today. In recent years, both the President of Taiwan, Ma Ying-jeou, and once inner-KMT Party rival James Soong (宋楚瑜) have claimed Liu to be their spiritual father: http://rank.blogspot.com/2007/02/rereading-of-liu-ming-chuan-following.html
Ma and Soong often point to Liu's achievements, namely 40 kilometers of railroad track laid and the moving of Taiwan's capital from Tainan in the south of Taiwan to Taipei. There's an obvious irony here. Liu was a Chinese bureaucrat. He came to Taiwan and dutifully served the government in Beijing for less than a decade before returning home.
Next to Fort Wuwei is Taiwan's first golf course, built under the supervision of the Japanese in 1919 (Taiwan was a colony of Japan from 1895, when it was deserted by China to Japan until 1945, when the Japanese surrendered to the United States closing out the Second World War). If you're interested in Taiwan's history, put this stop on your itinerary.