Hsinchu History, Taiwan
Having a rich history of almost 400 years, Hsinchu is considered the oldest city in northern Taiwan province, Republic of China. Nicknamed “Windy City” for its breezy climate, it is also famous for being the City of Technology of Taiwan. Being Taiwan’s Silicon Valley it has given Hsinchu its appeal throughout the world. In order to appreciate more the beginnings of this place, one must take a look at facts in Hsinchu History.
Hsinchu History – Its Humble Beginnings
The aboriginal tribe known as Taokas was the first settlers in the city of Hsinchu. Back then, the aborigines called the place Chuchien, meaning seashore. They originally settled by the coast of Siangshan Wetland and slowly expanded northeast and developed the area.
After the Spanish conquered the northern part of Taiwan in 1626, the Spanish missionaries reached the Taokas settlement at Chuchien. In 1642, the Dutch successfully drove the Spanish out of Taiwan.
Hsinchu History - During the Qing Dynasty
In 1711, Wang Shi Jie became the first Chinese settler from southern Fuchien to reside in Hsinchu and began developing farmlands. In fact, many farming areas in the present Hsinchu were established way back.
By 1723, the Qing Dynasty set up Danshuei Sub-prefecture in Chuchien, which was bounded by bamboo groves that acted as defense walls and gates. In 1825, the bamboo walls and city gates surrounding Danshuei wer changed into brick and stone walls (only the East gate survived). After the Danshuei sub-prefecture was dissolved in 1875, the north of Taiwan was split into Danshuei, Yilan and Hsinchu. The Chuchien area comprised the newly formed Hsinchu, meaning new bamboo.
Hsinchu History - During the Japanese Occupation
When Taiwan was handed to the Japanese after the first Sino-Japanese War in 1895, the Japanese forces established the Hsinchu Sub-prefecture, becoming the main administrative center between Taipei and Taichung. Under the Japanese reign, the city had undergone a major face lift. Roads and railways were built and many traditional buildings, even the city wall surrounding the former Danshuei Sub-prefecture, were demolished.
During this time, Hsinchu was introduced to the glass making industry the city became famous for in the later years. It made the city the center of excellence for decorative glass manufacturing.
Hsinchu History - From 1945 to the Present
When the Kuomintang Nationalist Government took over Taiwan after World War II, it established the Hsinchu City Government and focused on the industrial development of the area. In 1980, ‘The Science Park’ was founded by the government, which greatly enhanced the economy of the city and established Hsinchu as a science and technology hub. Under the President’s order in 1982, Hsinchu city merged with Siangshan Township to officially become a provincially-governed city of Hsinchu.
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