Sword Lion -- The Most Respected King!
Anping-- The Beginning of Taiwan!
"Dayuan" was where the earliest urban development of Taiwan began during the period of Dutch ruling. At the very beginning, "Zeelandia" was established as a center administering the entire island. Later on, the planned marketplace of "Provincia" was constructed along Chikan. Here was the beginning of Taiwan. In the period of Koxinga, Zheng Cheng-Gong assigned Taiwan as the base to rebel against the Qing government and restore Ming Dynasty. After the recovery of Taiwan, the homesick Zheng Cheng-Gong renamed Dayuan after his hometown, "Anping."
"Anping Fort" was reconstructed from the old site of the original "Zeelandia." Originally, it was designed as Taiwan City, so that the architecture of the building was full of splendors and attached with military defense purposes. After Zheng Cheng-Gong stationed here, he converted it to the Army Equipment Bureau and moved the administration center to the urban area. From then on, this place lost its position as an imperial city.
When Zheng Cheng-Gong led his army to Taiwan, he brought a fortune beast called "Sword Lion" which gave good luck and avoided calamity. In the Qing Dynasty, navy stationed in Anping, and the shields of the navy soldiers were engraved with the image of Sword Lion. If a shield was hung on the door or a Sword Lion was engraved on the door, it was meant to guard against general thieves. Gradually, more and more local residents followed the same practice. Sword Lion has been regarded as a protective god. It has different forms and faces; for example, it may be used for blessing children to grow up, keeping the good and evading the evil, or giving a lovely face. The only thing in common among them is that they remind people of Anping. Inevitably, Sword Lion becomes a spiritual sign of Anping.
Temples are the valuable part of history. The temples in Anping were among those that were first established in Taiwan. "Kaitai Tianhou Temple" originally called "Tianfei Temple" worships Matsu, that was brought by Zheng Cheng-Gong when he sailed across the Taiwan Strait and arrived in Taiwan with his army. The three statues enshrined in the temple had been carved on wood with bounded feet, clearly showing their long history. Although the temple was reconstructed for several times, the offering table of the main temple has its front leg left from the Song Dynasty, and is thus relatively precious and valuable.
In the old days, "Anping Historical Street" was the main traffic route. But today's Yanping historical street has many stores selling different kinds of products from preserved fruit of the ancient taste, savory cake, ancient children's toys, oyster omelette, to a great variety of fashion products. Anping is not only a scenic spot to tourists, but also an important marketplace to local citizens. In addition to these shops, the most valuable thing in Anping is the richness in cultural creation. There are plenty of intellectuals and artists staying in Anping.
From historical to modern days, Anping has always been a pioneer leading the development of Tainan. Anping makes use of history to create sightseeing topics, and transforms itself into a popular tourist attraction both on weekdays and holidays. Today's Anping, from the highly respected king of Sword Lion to Tianhou the Heavenly Mother, has found its future and the direction of creation. Between the lanes and alleys, and through the mouths and ears of local people, amazing Anping spirit is passed on. Do you want to listen to some stories about Taiwan? Just visit the hometown of Sword Lion, Anping! You will not be disappointed when you leave Anping!