The Kaohsiung Lighthouse Park in the Cijin District (旗津) is to reopen to visitors after three years of renovation, the Maritime and Port Bureau said earlier this week.
The lighthouse, also known as Cihoushan (旗後山) Lighthouse, was built as a rectangular brick building in 1883, when Taiwan was under Qing Dynasty rule, bureau Deputy Director-General Chen Pin-chuan (陳賓權) said, adding that it is the only lighthouse in the nation that integrates an artillery battery.
When the Port of Kaohsiung was reopened for trade in 1916, the Japanese colonial government in Taiwan had the lighthouse rebuilt, turning it into an octagon-shaped concrete structure, he said.
Although sustaining damage during World War II, it had throughout the war never ceased to guide merchant ships off Kao-hsiung’s coast, Chen said, adding that the lighthouse serves as a testimony to the port’s development.
The landmark structure is the second-most popular of all lighthouses under the bureau’s supervision, drawing about 240,000 visitors last year, Chen said.
“We started renovating historic lighthouses and reinforcing their structures across the nation in 2017, with a focus on those more than a century old. The project is aimed at protecting buildings that represent the nation’s maritime culture and the lighthouse’s role in safeguarding shipping routes,” Chen said, adding that the renovation was completed this month.
Chen said that the park now includes a permanent exhibition highlighting the lighthouse’s history.
The bureau also created a smartphone app featuring interactive games related to the lighthouse, allowing people to virtually experience the lighthouse from a sea vessel entering the port and learn how cannon balls were fired from its battery, Chen said.
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