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Through the Round Portal

I captured this image while visiting Huángxī Academy 磺溪書院, a Qing dynasty era school and temple in Dàdù 大肚, a rural district in southwestern Taichung 台中 on the border with Changhua 彰化. Built in 1887, it was looted after the war and almost destroyed by a flood before being restored in the 1980s, a story I detail in my full post about this academy. Pictured here is an unusual round gate (huánmén 環門) connecting the two entrance halls (méntīng 門廳) to the inner courtyard (yuànchéng 院埕). From what I’ve read there aren’t many gates like this in Taiwan 台灣, particularly not made out of brick, but I really wouldn’t know. Mostly I appreciate the symmetry of the shot, the apparent antiquity, the promise of something intriguing just around the corner.

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