Mystery of German Empire consulate in Taiwan decoded…almost

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2019/01/02
By: Joseph Yeh, CNA staff reporter

Photo courtesy of German Institute Taipei

It all started about three years ago when an official at Germany’s representative office in Taiwan was struck by a detail in a book written by a German author.

The author wrote that the German Empire had a consulate in Taiwan in the late 19th century, a revelation that propelled Sven Meier, the public relations officer at the German Institute Taipei, on a long journey to find the exact location of the old diplomatic post.

“According to the book, the impressive two-story building was built right on the banks of the Danshui River and was known as the most magnificent construction by the river at that time,” Meier told CNA in a recent interview.

The old map versus the current map around Zhongxiao Junior High School (忠孝國中) / Image courtesy of German Institute Taipei

During a three-year journey, he followed a series of clues that eventually answered the central question of his search — where the building was exactly located — but still left one missing piece to the puzzle — what actually happened to the structure.

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