Sicao Artillery Fort
During the reign of the Qing dynasty in 1840, the Sino-British Opium War erupted. In order to defend against the British army invading Taiwan, the reinforced Taiwanese army led by Yao Ying petitioned to the emperor to build coastal artillery forts all around Taiwan to bolster defense. One of them was the Sicao Artillery Fort.
The heritage sites of Sicao Artillery Fort and Anping mini artillery fort as well as Yidai Jincheng were military installations located in critical geographical positions used in defending against invaders and protecting the sea transportation of Taiwan
According to the Tainan City Government, the plaque erected in front of the artillery fort stated that the scale of Sicao Artillery Fort at that time had ten cannon platforms which measured a total of 300ft and seven cannons. Trenches were dug along the external perimeter and 20,000 bamboo poles were nailed in the trenches to form a solid defense installation, hence it was also referred to as the “Reinforced Coastal City” in olden days.
Sicao Artillery Fort has been classified as a Class II heritage site and gone through the rule of the Qing Dynasty and colonization of Japan. After the restoration of Taiwan, it became the perimeter walls of Zhenghai Elementary School and there are no longer any cannon platforms or cannons but only the walls of the artillery fort left behind.
The exterior of the walls were added with granite slabs for protection while the interior is cut from a mixture of cobbles and concrete, and there were 13 round water outlets laid with bricks.
Ten canon posts were originally set up within the town of Tainan and people were sent to guard over it. At that time they definitely were of important use but after the colonization by Japan, the military position of Sicaohu was downgraded and gradually it became a discarded harbor. The artillery platforms were not maintained and became obsolete and could fire no more today.
Today, Sicao Artillery Fort has become the perimeter walls of Zhenghai Elementary School, the roots of the old banyan tree crisscrossing over the grounds of the citadel and the great tree has become the green umbrella over the wall. It subsequently become a playground for children during late afternoon, a shady spot for the locals to get together after meals and a sightseeing spot for visitors to take pictures for memento.
- No. 381, Sec. 1, Xiancao St., Sicao Neighborhood, Annan Dist., Tainan City Taiwán, R.O.C
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