Tamsui

From Academic Kids

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Liyu_2004b_Tamsui.jpg
Lover Bridge of Tamsui/ taken by Liyu/ 7 July, 2004

Tamsui (Chinese: 淡水, Taiwanese: Tām-si/Tām-chi, Tongyong Pinyin: Danshuei, Hanyu Pinyin: Danshui) is a sea-side town in Taipei County, Taiwan Province, Republic of China. It is named after a river whose name means "Freshwater". The town is also popular as a site for viewing the sun setting into the Taiwan Strait.

History

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Tamsui_by_Chen_Chengpuo.jpg
Tamsui/ Chen Cheng-po/ 1935/ 91 x 116.5 cm/ Collection from Taiwan Museum of Fine Art
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Ni_Jianghuai_1936.jpg
Tamsui/Tamsui Church/ Ni Chiang-huai/ 1936/ Paper/ Watercolor/ 49.566cm/ Collection of Taipei Museum of Fine Art

Originally settled by the Ketagalan aboriginal peoples, the first major non-aboriginal settlement was established by the Spanish in the fall of 1629 with the construction of the town and mission of Santo Domingo. The Spanish occupied northern Taiwan for the purpose of securing Spanish interests in the Philippines against the Dutch, the British, and the Portuguese, as well as for facilitating trade with China and Japan.

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Danshui_waterfront.jpg
Tamsui waterfront at sunset

In 1641, the Spanish were expelled from Taiwan by the Dutch, who rebuilt the Spanish compound Fort Provintia into what is known today as Hung-Mao Cheng (紅毛城, literally, the Fortress of the Red-haired Barbarians). In addition to "pacifying" the aboriginal tribes in the area, the Dutch also encouraged the immigration and settlement of the area by Han Chinese, as well as expanding the production and trade of sulfur, animal skins, and other indigenous resources.

The Dutch left Taiwan in 1661 following their defeat by Koxinga, who continued the policy of increasing Han Chinese immigration until the defeat of his descendants by the Ching Dynasty.

Because of its close proximity to mainland China, as well as its location in a natural harbor, Tamsui quickly became a major fishing and trade port. The Ching naval patrol also established an outpost in Tamsui in 1808. In 1862, the Ching government opened Tamsui to foreign trade, exporting tea, camphor, sulfur, coal, opium, and dyes. By the mid-19th century Tamsui had become the largest port in Taiwan, boasting a sizable foreign population as well as a British consulate at Hung-Mao Cheng.

Canadian medical doctor and missionary George Leslie Mackay arrived in Tamsui on March 9, 1872, proceeding to establish Taiwan's first western hospitals and formal educational facilities.

By the time Taiwan was ceded to Japan following the end of the Sino-Japanese War, Tamsui's position as a seaport was beginning to wane due to the accumulation of sediments in the Tamsui River. By the 20th century, most of Tamsui's port operations had moved to Keelung, and the local economy had switched primarily to agriculture. However, public infrastructure construction projects by the Japanese led to Tamsui's rise as a local administrative and cultural center.

Following the end of World War II, Tamsui reverted to being a small fishing town. With the expansion of nearby Taipei City, Tamsui slowly became a center for tourism along Taiwan's northeast coast. In the last ten years, the city has become popular as a suburb of Taipei in the local real estate market.

Following the completion of the Taipei Rapid Transit System's Danshuei Line, the town has experienced a sharp increase in tourist traffic, reflected in the completion of several riverside parks, the growth of open-air markets specializing in traditional handicrafts, the construction of a fisherman's wharf, and the increase in passenger ferries traversing across and along the river.

List of famous Tamsui people

Template:Commons

External links

ja:淡水鎮 zh:淡水鎮_(台北縣) zh-min-nan:Tām-chi

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