Monday, November 22, 2010

Taiwan - Eluanbi Lighthouse

Eluanbi Lighthouse, Kenting.

Sent by Michelle, a postcrosser from Taiwan.

This is from Wikipedia : Eluanbi Light(Chinese: 鵝鑾鼻燈塔) is a lighthouse located on the Cape Eluanbi, which is also the southernmost point of Taiwan, to the south of Hengchun in Pingtung County, Taiwan. Eluanbi Lighthouse is administrated by Directorate General of Customs, Ministry of Finance, Taiwan. The lighthouse is built between the Pacific Ocean and the Taiwan Strait, facing toward the Luzon Strait. Thus, the lighthouse has a splendid panorama. Also, the lighthouse is open to the public all year around. To present, the Eluanbi Light is called "The Light of East Asia", because its intensity is the most powerful among Taiwan lighthouses.

The Eluanbi Lighthouse was built in the Qing Dynasty, year 1888. Accidents in the area were quite often due to hidden reefs. In year 1888, an English architect W. F. Spindey, a member of Royal Geographical Society, was hired to construct this lighthouse as a guide for nearby ships. The lighthouse is the only armed lighthouse in the world, due to frequent raids by local aboriginal tribes then. The lighthouse has a trench around it and many gun holes on the wall.

After a concession by the Qing Empire when it lost the First Sino-Japanese War, Taiwan became a colony of Japan. During the Japanese rule period in 1898, the lighthouse was repaired after severe damages due to destruction of the First Sino-Japanese War. However, during World War II, the lighthouse was serious damaged by Allies' bombing.

Until 1962, the lighthouse was re-built as a conical concrete building with a white cover. To date, the lighthouse, although still functional, is now held as a historical monument admired by many tourists in the Kenting National Park. Additionally, there is an Eluanbi Memorial(see Gallery) of Taiwan Eight Magnificent Sceneries set in here, on the memorial the Chinese "Eluanbi"(Chinese: 鵞鑾鼻), sculptured on the surface, written in Wang Xizhi calligraphy style.

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