Baimiweng Fort

Baimiweng Fort in Keelung – easy to reach and with great views

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The Baimiweng Fort is located in Zhongshan District (中山區) in Keelung, northwest of the harbor and next to the Hsieh-ho power plant (協和發電廠). It sits at an elevation of 60 m above sea level and offers great views over the harbor and the north coast to Yehliu.

Baimiweng Fort view on Keelung harbor
View towards Keelung harbor (click image for larger view)
Baimiweng Fort view to Yehliu
View from the outlook post towards the fort, the power plant and the north coast with Yehliu. (click image for larger view)

The well preserved and maintained Baimiweng Fort is one of the smaller fortresses in Keelung. It can be subdivided into three areas. In the center was the artillery position with room for four cannons. The eastern part on a hill was an outlook post and the fire-control for the right flank. And in the western part was the bunker for the command post and the fire-control for the left flank. There are also a few old buildings, which served as storage for ammunition and other materials.

Baimiweng Fort in Keelung
Entrance area. The higher parts of the fortress can be reached over the ramps.

The history of the fort is not well documented. It was assumed that during the Spanish occupation of northern Taiwan from 1626 till 1642 [1,2] and during the Dutch occupation (1624-1662) [3] a fort existed in this area. But there are no remnants left of the fortress from the 17th century. The fort, that we can see today, was probably installed together with the other fortresses during the Qing dynasty. These fortresses were used to protect northern Taiwan during the Opium Wars during the mid-19th century. In 1904 throughout the Japanese colonial period the Baimiweng Fort was modified into the configuration we can see today [4].

Baimiweng Fort Keelung central part
The central part of the fort. The cannons were located in the four half-circular bays.

From all the forts I have visited in Keelung, the Baimiweng Fort seems to be the most popular. At least on the day of my visit it was very busy there. One reason might be, that this fort can be reached easily by car. There is also a large parking lot next to the fort. The entire area is more like a park, rather than a historical site. There are benches in the middle part and two Chinese style pavilions, which were installed later, provide shelter from rain or intense sun. Additionally, a large playground near the entrance of the fort makes it attractive to visit this place with children.

Baimiweng Fort Keelung
From the benches visitors can enjoy the view over the coast.
Baimiweng Fort Keelung view on Yehliu
Baimiweng Fort Keelung secret entrance
A steep staircase can be found behind the pavilion on the eastern side. The stairs lead to the outlook post on top of the hill.
Baimiweng Fort Keelung hike to outlook post
Baimiweng Fort Keelung view from outlook post
The outlook post offers a nice view on Keelung Island. Unfortunately the vegetation is very dense and high, otherwise there would be a fantastic view over the harbor and the entire coast of Keelung.
Baimiweng Fort Keelung
In a bunker on the western side of the fort the command post was located.
Baimiweng Fort Keelung iconic power plant
From the bunker the power plant can be seen nicely.
Ship leaving Keelung harbor
Ship leaving Keelung harbor.

How to get to Baimiweng Fort

As mentioned before, the fort can be reached easily by car or scooter. The entrance to the road, which leads to the fort, is on Guanghua Road (光華路). But I found it quite difficult to find, because it is close to the harbor and the roads are very confusing there. There are also no signs that show the way to the fort, except one sign on Guanghua Road. This map shows the way to the fort.

Bus lines 301 and 302 stop at Tai Bai Zhuang (太白莊), which is on Guanghua Road. From there you can walk uphill to the fort.

[1] Wikipedia article about the Spanish expedition to Formosa

[2] Wikipedia article about Santisima Trinidad, a Spanish settlement in northern Taiwan

[3] Wikipedia article about Dutch Formosa

[4] Wikipedia article about the Baimiweng Fort (in Chinese)

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