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HOME > TAIPEI > ARTS & LEISURE >

Taiwan Fun Magazine, November 2006

A FORT TELLS ITS STORY:
NEWS FLASHES FROM A DUTCH PAST

Exhibition: Now through October 28, 2007

--- Information provide by Walter Hellebrand Translated by Sho Huang
Photos by Frans Kunst

An easy MRT ride from Taipei takes one to a fascinating spot where beauty and history come together. On a little hill in Tamsui, overlooking the mouth of Tamsui River, lies an ancient fort amidst a luscious park providing breathtaking views of the nearby mountains, river and sea. This is Fort Anthonio, the core of Museum Fort San Domingo-a Dutch fort on a site with a Spanish name, with an exhibition in the former residence of the British consul. Confused? Not after you have seen the exhibition currently showing in the Museum.

Colorful maps and precious objects
Colorful antique maps and prints from a private collection illustrate the era of Dutch maritime and commercial supremacy and precious objects on loan from museums in the Netherlands evoke the days from more than 300 years ago. From lice combs to musket guns and from sulfur to silk, the exhibition paints a picture of the 17th century when the Dutch East India Company (VOC) built Fort Anthonio in Tamsui and made it part of its extensive trading network. The VOC was the largest company in the world at the time and the first-ever multinational. Taiwan played a crucial role in its commercial empire.

However, the curator of the exhibition, Dutchman Walter Hellebrand from Amsterdam, feels that illustrating history is not only a matter of using your eyes. All five senses should be given a treat. So we hear the songs that the Dutch sailors sang when they partied after finishing their forts in 1642. And we can take a peek into the reconstructed VOC warehouse. You can also smell the fragrance of each individual spice.
Plan a day-tour and enjoy the experience in Fort San Domingo in Tamsui now.

 

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