Gold Rush Era of Shuijinjiu
Shuijinjiu Area is located in Ruifang District, New Taipei City with an area of approximately 70 square kilometers and a terrain that rapidly climbs from sea level to 738 meters. The ever-changing sceneries in the area caused by interaction of monsoons was described as “spring cherry blossoms, summer breeze, autumn Miscanthus blooms, and winter misty clouds” in the past.
Mining Industry Remains
Due to the Keelung volcanic group, the chemical reaction on intrusive quartz andesite has made this place the highest density of gold and copper deposits in Taiwan. It is the special geological mineral strata being dominated by pyrite or copper sulfide. After chemical reaction of the minerals with groundwater and rainwater, it would make the local river to present in yellowish color and turn it into a golden water channel upon flowing through and depositing the minerals on the exposed rocks.
The Yin-Yang Sea caused by the interlacing of yellowish-brown river water and the blue seawater is a distinctive view in Shuijinjiu Area. It was initially thought of being caused by waste discharge during the mineral refining process, but later confirmed that the main cause was the precipitation of pyrite, thus forming this unique sight.
Jinguashi Mine’s Canal Bridges
In the earlier days, agriculture was the main industry of Shuijinjiu Area that mainly used water from Jiufen River and Jinguashi River to irrigate, so water consumption was not great. During the Japanese colonial period, Shuijinjiu Area was highly industrialized due to large-scale development of the mining industry, the establishment of Japanese mining company, and utilization of the technology then to construct new facilities. Because of large electricity and water demand needed in mining and refining, many mining and processing facilities such as water conservancy facilities were built. Among them were Jinguashi Mine’s Canals and Aqueduct Bridges. The Aqueduct Bridge is a beautiful stone arched bridge consisting of three levels - the basement was built during Qing Dynasty period, the mid-layer was a post-war reinforced concrete bridge, and the upper layer was a bridge crossing the valley completed in 1935. It was an important industrial transportation route for the area then, having historical, industrial and local characteristics and significance. It could be said to witness the development of Jinguashi mining industry. Other mining sites will be described in the following sections.
Shuinandong Art Gallery
The “first theater” built during the Japanese colonial era was originally a wooden structure which often played Japanese favorite movies. After Taiwan’s recovery, it was rebuilt as a brick structure and used as a “Multipurpose Auditorium” for playing movies and serving as a gathering place, etc. As the closure of mining industry had left it unused, the city government decided to renovate the theater through multi-party negotiation, providing artists a local area to promote art creations.
The Gold Museum is Taiwan’s first museum that stresses the eco-museum concept, allowing the government to participate in local construction and cultural preservation. Opening in November 2004, the museum has combined the efforts of local community and people to properly preserve the precious natural ecology, mining industry remains, historical memories and humanity assets of Jinguashi and Shuinandong Areas.
Qitang Old Street
It is dominated by Taiwanese people since the Qing Dynastic period. Due to the rainy weather in the mountains, the buildings’ exterior are mostly covered with a layer of waterproof asphalt. As a result, the asphalt felt roofs are a common phenomenon for buildings in Shuijinjiu Area, showing the personalized feature and scene developed by the early Taiwanese people. While constructing the Shuinandong refinery (the 13-Layer Remains) in 1933, the Japanese began to build a new residential site here, planning to be mainly occupied by Japanese people. So the buildings were dominated by large-scale Japanese-style wooden dormitories.
The Gold Temple – Memories of Japanese Colonial Rule
Also known as Jinguashi Shinto Shrine, it was built by the Japanese on the mountainside in 1933. On July 15 of each year during the Japanese colonial rule, it would hold a grand ceremony here. It was an important worship center for the Japanese and Taiwanese people at the time to bless the entire Shuijinjiu Area. Due to a lack of maintenance after Taiwan’s recovery, only the pillars, foundation and torii have left behind for people to pay their respects. However, the size of the Japanese-style shrine can still be witnessed indistinctly.
Crown Prince Chalet – Japanese Exquisite Aesthetics
Crown Price Chalet was temporarily built in 1922 to accommodate the Prince Hirohito of Japan who scheduled to inspect the Jinguashi mining industry. It is located at southeast of the present Jinguashi Police Station. After Taiwan’s recovery, Crown Price Chalet was taken over by Taiwan Gold and Copper Mining Bureau and was renamed as No.1 Guest House. Many high-ranking government officials of Kuomintang often came here on holidays. Later on, it was taken over by Taipower. Crown Prince Chalet4 was rebuilt in 1995 and officially announced as a city-designated historical site by New Taipei City in March 14, 2007.
Jinguashi Geological Park - Ecological Education Promotion
Jinguashi Geological Park is located at “Benshan Mine” that was once an open-pit mine. Once serving as a mother bed for breeding gold, copper, andesite and other special rock species, Jinguashi Geological Park has significant academic and educational value. The “Tomb of Nowhere” on Diaoshan Ancient Trial at the south entrance of the park was once taken as a movie background “Hill of No Return” by the well-known Director Wu Nien-Jen.