Tainan’s Jingpo Gate 台南靖波門

Tainan’s little western gate on the east side
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. Four of the original gates survive in some capacity, among them Xiǎoxīmén 小西門, the small western gate. More formally known as Jìngbōmén 靖波門 (and commonly romanized as Jingpo Gate), it was dedicated in 1788, the 53rd year of the reign of the Qianlong Emperor, and bears the inscription: 乾隆五十三年, literally “Qianlong 53 year”). It is the youngest of the three surviving inner gates of the old city.

Xiaoximen and the ruins of the eastern wall
Two kinds of wall, a misplaced gate, and a pair of cannons of unknown provenance.
Old city walls turn to dust
The inside of the wall is almost indistinguishable from the soil.
The inscription over Jingbomen in Tainan
The inscription over the archway features the name of the gate and the year of dedication.

Jingpo Gate was originally located far to the west (hence the name) near the traffic circle at the intersection of Xīmén Road 小西路 and Fǔqián Road 府前路. During a road widening project in the 1970s it was moved to its present location next to what remains of Xiǎodōngmén 小東門 and some of the ruins of Tainan’s old city walls on the main NCKU campus in East Tainan 台南市東區.

The ruins of Tainan’s eastern wall
The ruins of Tainan’s eastern wall on the NCKU campus.
Banyan roots along Tainan’s eastern wall
I don’t know about you but I love the sight of banyan roots wrapped around the crumbling works of man.
Last remnants of the eastern walls of Tainan
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.