Study Visits

Study Visits: Sunday 3 April

Qing Dynasty Ruled Housing: Dadaocheng Town-House

Dadaocheng is an area in the Datong District, part of the Taipei Basin and a historic section of Taipei. It was also known as Twatutia (a transliteration of the Taiwanese Hokkien Tōa-tiū-tiâⁿ), Daitotei (Daitōtei) during Japanese rule, and Tataocheng during the Kuomintang era. Dadaocheng was an important trading port in the 19th century, and is still a major historical tourist attraction and shopping area.

The first rail station in Taipei was completed in Dadaocheng in October 1891, when the railway to Keelung was opened for service. The branch line from Taipei to Tamsui was completed in June 1901, and Twatutia Station opened as part of the then TRA Tamsui Line. However, it was closed to passenger service in 1916 and continued to operate as a freight-only station until its eventual closure in 1937.

The most famous street in Dadaocheng was named Dihua Street after World War II and is the oldest street in Taipei. There are many stores selling dried goods and snacks, especially before the Lunar New Year. Taipei Xiahai City God Temple is also on Dihua Street. There is a festival to celebrate the birthday of Xiahai Chenghuang (a city god) on the 13th day of the 5th lunar month every year. Dadaocheng was the location for one of the first movie theaters built for the native Taiwanese audience during Japanese rule. The interior structure of Eraku-za imitated the Imperial Theater in Tokyo and included a café, a gymnasium and dressing rooms.

Study Visits: Sunday 3 April

Chinese Folk Religion: Longshan Temple

Lungshan Temple is located in the district Manka of Taipei. It was founded in 1738 and dedicated to the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy (Kuan-in in Chinese, or Avalokitesvara in Sanskrit).This temple originated its name from the ancient Lungshan Temple established in Chin-chiang county of Fukien province in the seventh century.Immigrants from the three counties Chin-chiang, Nan-an and Hui-an of Fukien came to Manka in the beginning of the eighteenth century. As they were pious followers of that ancient Lungshan Temple in their home town, they erected this one as a branch temple at Manka and named it after the root temple when they created a new settlement here in Taipei. Lungshan Temple of today is no longer in the original buildings constructed in 1738. It was rebuilt in 1919 and completed in 1924.Lungshan Temple always keeps it nature as a Buddhist temple, but in the course of its development many deities of Taoism were also included. The variety of deities in this temple shows the tolerant mentality of the Chinese people in their religious life. Being a masterpiece of traditional Chinese architecture and a well-established Buddhist temple in Taipei, the Lungshan Temple of Manka has become a center of people’s religious life and a heritage of local culture. The government, therefore, assigned it a historical site of second grade on 19 August, 1985, so that it will be preserved for future generations.