We checked out Hungchwun's South Gate in the previous post, so now it's time to go and see the West Gate. This gate lacks a tower--it was torn down during the Japanese period--but the base structure remains, and pedestrian walkways have been added to it in more recent years so that you can go up on top.
A road passes right through. Be careful of oncoming traffic!
This is a copy of the tablet mentioned in the plaque in the first photo. This is how they used to promulgate laws in Ching Dynasty Manchuria.
Let's go on top! You can see mountains in the distance. Hungchwun is mostly surrounded by mountains.
You can see where the city walls continue on the other side of the road. This section was probably knocked down by the Japanese. They destroyed a lot of city walls in Taiwan when they took over because they were primarily interested in modernizing the island and improving its economy, and this included building a more efficient road system. Sometimes old structures were in the way of the new roads.
Here I am on top of the gate itself, with the road running below me. There's an open space with a temple at the far corner.
People speeding through their infrastructural history.
I assume the squares on the floor here are where the former tower's support columns were originally.
A home right next to the wall. It looks like there used to be a bathroom or kitchen here. Now three of the walls have been knocked down and the remaining tile wall is bizarrely exposed to the outside world.
There's a large park next to the wall.
I walked around in the park and came upon this stone tablet. I couldn't find any explanation for it nearby, even in Chinese. It's important enough that they built stairs going up to it, but the letters also appear to have been scratched out. I wondered if maybe it was a Japanese-era tablet that had been deliberately defaced during the post-WWII era. I really have no idea though.
Another tablet below, also with letters that appear to have been scratched out.
A map of town, with historic buildings and complete walls.
Here's the tablet and the little hill it's on from a distance.
Behind the park were a bunch of abandoned buildings. The architectural style made me think that maybe they were former dorms for soldiers, or perhaps it was a settlement for former soldiers. There are lots of settlements all over Taiwan like that. Soldiers who came over from China after WWII were cut off from their homelands (thanks to the Chinese Civil War) and on an island where they didn't know anyone. They often ended up living in communities all by themselves, separated from the rest of Taiwanese society. Some of these communities were made of buildings abandoned by the Japanese, some were made of buildings hastily put up in the post-war years. Either way, these communities have in many cases disappeared, or are in the process of disappearing, because the old residents are dying, and their descendants don't usually want to live in the old houses in these cut off communities. (There also have been cases where the government turned around and suddenly declared that a settlement of old soldiers was an illegal settlement. Despite having ignored these illegal settlements for decades, developer money has a strange way of making the government care about whether or not structures have been built illegally.)
The temple we saw from on top of the city wall before.
Some nearby old buildings.
To be continued...