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Xiaoximen and the Eastern Walls of Tainan

Tainan’s little western gate on the east side.

Not much remains of the original Qing dynasty era defensive fortifications of Tainan 台南. The Japanese tore almost everything down in a bid to modernize the city in the early 20th century. Xiǎoxīmén 小西門, the small western gate, is one of three inner gates that remain. It was originally located near the traffic circle at the intersection of Xīmén Road 小西路 and Fǔqián Road 府前路 but was moved the opposite side of the city in 1970 to accommodate a road widening project. Nowadays it can be found amongst the ruins of Tainan’s old city walls next to what remains of Xiaodongmen (little eastern gate) on the main NCKU campus in East Tainan 台南市東區.

Two kinds of wall, a misplaced gate, and a pair of cannons of unknown provenance.

The inside of the wall is almost indistinguishable from the soil.
The inscription over the archway features the name of the gate and the year of dedication.

Xiaoximen is formally known as Jìngbōmén 靖波門, a name bestowed upon the gate when it was dedicated in 1788, the 53rd year of the reign of the Qianlong Emperor (hence the inscription: 乾隆五十三年, literally “Qianlong 53 year”). It is the youngest of the eight original gates along the inner walls of Tainan.

The ruins of Tainan’s eastern wall on the NCKU campus.
I don’t know about you but I love the sight of banyan roots wrapped around the crumbling works of man.
One last look at the western gate and eastern walls.

As with many of my posts about historical obscurities in Tainan I am indebted to the excellent Tainan City Guide. It has no dedicated entry for Xiaoximen but you can read a little about it in posts on the Great Eastern Gate and the old city walls.

For more photos and historical information (all in Chinese) try here, here, here, and here.

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