Date: Feb 14, 2016
By: Staff writer, with CNA
The Tungchu Tao Lighthouse in Matsu is a national historic building, the first
granite lighthouse built in Taiwan, which has survived the shifts of contemporary history.
The tower is located on Dongju, one of the islets of the Matsu archipelago about 25km off the coast of China.
It was constructed in 1872 during the Qing Dynasty, based on a commerce and navigation agreement signed by the Qing administration and Great Britain following China’s defeat in the Opium Wars.
The lighthouse was designated a grade two historic building by the Ministry of the Interior in 1988.
The Tungchu Tao Lighthouse is the only one built of stone that is open to visitors.
Lighthouse director Chang Wei-lun (張維倫) said that during the late Qing Dynasty, customs offices were largely staffed at senior levels by foreigners, mainly Britons.
As a result, a British company was responsible for the construction and design of the lighthouse, and a foreigner continued to serve as the director of the lighthouse until 1949, Chang said. [FULL STORY]