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New Taipei City Travel

Once upon a time there was a walled city — Exploring Fangqiao City and the four temples

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Exploring Fangqiao City

When it comes to walled cities in Taiwan, the first places most people think of are Tainan City, Taipei City, and Hengchun Township. The gates of these cities, which were built by officials, still have their gates and even some of their walls, and some of them have had MRT stops named after them (Beimen [north gate] Station, Ximen [west gate] Station or the Taipei MRT line), and are a shared memory among present-day Taiwanese people. But did you know that there is also a walled city in Banqiao, the prime district of New Taipei City?
枋橋古城路標
When going from the MRT Fuzhong Station to the Lin Family Mansion and Garden, perceptive travelers will notice that the streetlights in this area are particularly old fashioned, and that they are labelled “Fangqiao Walled City.” On top of that, when looking down, you can see the words “City Border” on the street tiles. The ancient Fangqiao Walled City had five city gates, just like Taipei; additionally, its history is even better known than that of Taipei, primarily due to two major factors that led to the establishment of the city: the Lin family of Banqiao and the Zhang-Quan fighting.
古城界址
Back in the Qing Dynasty, there were frequent fights between Zhangzhou and Quanzhou immigrants; in order to defend themselves from the Quanzhou immigrants, the Banqiao Lin family, who originally came from Zhangzhou, built the Fangqiao Walled City in 1855, stretching out to present-day Ximen [west gate] Street, Beimen [north gate] Street, Nanmen [south gate] Street, and Guanqian West Road. However, during the Japanese occupation, the city was demolished to make place for traffic. Nevertheless, the temples located in the area still show traces of the old city.枋橋古城地圖 
Cihui Mazu temple
Located at the east side of the Fangqiao Walled City is the most popular Mazu temple in the Banqiao District. The temple is decorated on both the inside and the outside with fragmented ceramic art, sculptures, and color paintings, and the highly refined temple buildings are richly ornamented. In addition, the temple is a popular place for people to pray for prosperity, and local business magnates such as the Banqiao Lin family are all frequent visitors. If you look carefully, you can even find a dragon pillar bearing the business name of the Lin family.
慈雲宮屋頂剪粘慈惠宮與板橋林家慈惠宮財神
Banqiao Jieyun Temple
The Jieyun Temple and the Xinzhuang Dizang Temple, both located near the west gate of Fangqiao Walled City, are historically related to the Zhang-Quan fights; the Dizang Temple was built by the Banqiao gentry to commemorate the Zhangzhou people who died in the altercations. The Jieyun Temple, which is on the other side, was formerly known as the Zhonghe Ciyunyan Temple, but was destroyed during the armed struggles, and its remains were taken over by the Banqiao Jieyun Temple. Its collection contains many precious ancient plaques and scrolls, and there are many wood carvings of flying immortals wrapped in gold foil on both sides of the roof as well as in the main hall, which are very spectacular. The caisson ceiling has a special long oval design, and is of great historical and religious value.
接雲寺金仙人接雲寺藻井大眾廟
Banqiao Diyi Temple
The only one of the four temples to have been a city-designated temple, the Diyi Temple, was built by the Banqiao Lin family to commemorate the people who died fighting; it is also known as the Yuanshuai Temple. In 2021, after it was restored, the temple opened up for the public by appointment. The paintings of the Door Gods and the Qilin murals inside are all made by master painter Mr. Cai Longjin, the winner of the New Taipei Cultural Award. Next time you are in Banqiao, on your way to the Lin Family Mansion and Garden, slow down and closely follow the inscriptions on the ground to explore the former Walled City, and enter the temples to admire the exquisite paintings and craftmanship, and explore the past life of the city!
迪毅堂迪毅堂濕壁畫

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Hiking for Senior Citizens to Live Longer- Shulin Wuqi Park
You probably will only see majestic weapons on special holidays or TV. But now at the Wuqi Park in Shulin District, New Taipei City, you can see the exhibition of equipment from the army ground forces, army navy forces and army air forces, such as battle tanks, fighter aircrafts and missiles. People can see the equipment in a close distance and its's all free! The New Taipei City Government collaborates with the Ministry of Defense to build the largest Park with weapon exhibition in Taiwan. The environment nearby will make you feel comfortable and you can not only take a walk here but see the weapons used to protect our country. Military fans should not miss it!Go Back to the Good Old Time with Retired Weapons!The Wuqi Park is next to the Military Shrine of New Taipei City. The Military Shrine constructed beside the mountain commemorates the courage and bravery of deceased soldiers and veterans. The Park has 16 pieces of retired weapons from the ground forces, navy forces and air forces. The weapons represent our history and culture. If you walk toward the other direction, you arrive the Datong Mountain Hiking Trail. Datong Mountain is the garden of Shulin District and you can see the beautiful view of New Taipei City once you are on the summit. The hiking trail is not steep and handrails are constructed on the trail, making the trail very suitable for elders to hike!The Wuqi Park is currently the largest park with weapon exhibition from the Ministry of Defense in Taiwan. At the Park you can see the first fighter aircraft that can travel twice as fast as the speed of sound (TF-104G Starfighter), the sea anchor of Zhongzhou Warship, the sea anchor of Lushan Warship, K30 Single-barreled Gun of 5 inches, M166 Mountain Gun, anti-aircraft guns and missiles. All of the weapons have the history of protecting the country for over 10 years and most of them are maintained well. Even if you are not a military fan, you can feel the vibe with the exhibition items and explanation boards and learn about functions and stories of individual weapons.If you follow the route at the Park, you will first see 2 "F-5F Tiger II". They used to be the main fighter aircraft that protected the airspace of Taiwan. They are the heroes of the Park! Besides several majestic fighter aircrafts, you can see naval guns on smaller warships used by the U.S. Navy in World War II and the "Trainable Chaff Rocket Launcher" used on reconnaissance or disturbing the fighter aircraft from the enemy following the route at the Park. How surprising it is that the retired weapons have so many stories to tell!Moreover, you can see the "M1 40mm Anti-Aircraft Gun" that is still in service and battle tanks only can be seen in a battle movie standing in the Park quietly but majestically. You will definitely feel in awe.The Themed Park like a "Museum" is Worth Visiting for a Half Day!There is a 2-story building in the Park and you can see the fighter aircraft you just passed by from height. Its heroic appearance will amaze you! No fences are set up in the Wuqi Park so the public can feel closer to the army. But remember not to climb up on weapons or touch them. The weapons in the Park have the history of protecting the country for over 10 years. Tough the Park is not huge, it is a theme park like a "museum". It is suitable for you to bring your elders at home to come here for a half-day trip on weekends!And the Datong Mountain Hiking Trail next to the Park is a hiking trail that the senior citizens will enjoy. Tree shades are all over the trail so you don't have to worry about hiking in hot summer time!Nearby Places to Go Datong Mountain Hiking Trail Blue Dragon Ridge Shanjia Railway Station
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小客帶路