In 1840, at the start
of the first Opium War, the British were planning
an attack upon Taiwan, and the magistrate in charge,
Yao Ying, ordered the construction of this emplacement
to strengthen the island's defenses. Its strategic
location commands an excellent view of the harbor.
A total of eight cannons were installed on the site.
Above the front gate is a tablet with the inscription
"This gate to the sea has been provided by heaven
for our defense." In 1841, the British army made
its first strike against the island. After several
defeats at the hands of the Chinese, the British finally
gave up in 1843. Subsequently, however, in 1884, the
Sino-French War broke out, and in course of these
hostilities the Erh-sha-wan Gun Emplacement was destroyed.
Only the wall and front gate survived. In 1979, a
restoration of the site was carried out under the
auspices of the Keelung City Government, as this emplacement
was designed and built entirely by the Chinese, it
has been specially cherished and is regarded as having
a unique historical value.