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1. Mountains


Keelung Mountain

It has many faces.  Viewing from the front, it’s just like a traditional cage for chickens so it’s called Jilongshan (ji means chickens, long cage and shan mountain).  A lateral view of Keelung Mountain resembles a woman lying on her side, and it is also called “big-bellied beauty mountain.”  If we look at it from the 13 Stories site, it even looks like a Chimp looking into the distance so it’s also called Black King Kong Mountain.  Climbing up the mountains, the beauty of the villages of Jinguashi and Jioufen can be fully taken in.  From the top of the mountain, we can also see Keelung Islet, Downtown, Badouzi, Fanzaiao and Bitoujiao.

 

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Big-bellied Beauty Mountain.
Keelung Mountain.
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 Chimp Mountain.
 Chimp Mountain.

Teapot Mountain

Viewing from the right front side of Museum of Gold, Teapot Mountain is shaped like a handleless teapot, giving it the name “Teapot Mountain.”  But looking from the front of Crown Prince Chalet, it also looks like a crouched lion sitting and watching the sunrise, which also gives it the name “Lion Rock Mountain.”  It got famous because of the ad of Mr. Brown Café and from then on it became an important landmark of Jinguashi.  On the way to the top of the mountain, we can see many mines.  In a fine day, we can even enjoy the beautiful scenery of Jinguashi.  On the top, we can see Ying-yang Sea, Keelung Islet, and the villages of Jinguashi.

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Teapot Mountain.
Lion Rock Mountain.

Benshan

Benshan is Jingua Mountain.  It had the biggest reserve of gold in the past.  It looked like a pumpkin without a stalk so it was called Jinguashi.  But after the first, second and third mines started working, the landscape had changed.  Now it looks like a rhino so it is also called Rhino Mountain.  There was a saying goes, the pumpkin without the stalk, the teapot without the handle, no wonder there was no emperor from Taiwan.

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 Rhino Mountain.
 Benshan.

2. Transport


Lightweight Cart Rail


Since Jinguashi locates on a steep mountain, the mining authority set the lightweight cart rail on the sea level to connect the cities and transport the stones and mining materials.  Meanwhile, from the year of 1931 to 1956, the rail was the main outbound transport of Jinguashi.  Now the rail has changed into a romantic trail for new-married couples to take wedding pictures.

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Monocable (Flowing Cage)

In the past, the minerals of Benshan the 4th tunnel and Changren the 3rd tunnel were transported to the smelting site by the aerial monocable.

Slope Trams

It was built on the steep place of the mountains.  The carts were designed to accustom to the slope which would keep the level of the cart horizontal.  It was used to be the main vehicle of the Supply Company and Japanese Communities then.  It was just like the DHL nowadays.

Wuji Cableway

It was operated by single rope to draw the cart back and forth.  After the cart loaded with the minerals and transported to the picking site, it would be drawn back in an empty cart to transport next package.  It was mainly used in the under part of the tunnel.


3. Gold Temple


The Jinguashi Shinto Shrine, also called the “Mountain God Shrine,” is dedicated to the three deities of “ôkuninushinomikoto, kaneyamahikonomikoto and sarutahikonomikoto.”  After the Japan Mining Company took over the management of Jinguashi mine, it commemorated the event by building a Shinto shrine half way up the mountain below Sipping lane. The original shrine included a main hall, prayer hall and pavilion for worshipers to wash their hands. There were also two walkways along the stairs, at either side of which were 3 toris, 5 flag platforms and 1 bronze bull and four pairs of stone lanterns.  Unfortunately, the buildings were damaged in the post-war period and today we can only see the ruined.

Gold Temple
Gold Temple (old image)

4. Cyuanji Temple


Cyuanji Temple, religious center of the townspeople, was built in Qing Dynasty (AD1896) and consecrated to what was the only golden-faced Guan Gong in Taiwan prior to Retrocession.  The gold and bronze Guan Gong statue in the back of the temple is the largest idol of that deity in the world, weighing more than 25 tons.  Each year during Dragon Boat Festival, Cyuanji Temple holds the distinctively local Green Grass ceremony.  On that day, believers went finding the herbs by the hints from the god and took them back to the temple.  In addition to various herbs, local residents also collect stones and towel gourds.  The collected medicinal herbs are taken back to the temple to be washed and dried.  And then, they are ground into powder and spread to dry, which depending on the weather can take as long as 7 days.  Finally, local residents rub the ground herb residue onto balls that are roughly 3cm in diameter, thereby completing the “100 Herb ball” ritual.

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5. Qitang Old Street


This was the most prosperous and busiest street in early Jinguashi.  Walking on this street is like taking a trip back in time. In its heyday there were numerous shops here and it was known as “Little Ginza.” Today the street still has long-established general goods stores with old style cigarette display cases. The handmade herbal grass sticky rice sweets they sell should not be missed.

6. POW Memorial


The POW camp was on the site of today’s Tongshan Park.  During the WWII, the Japanese captured numerous Allied POWs in Southeast Asia and some townspeople.  They were forced to work in tunnel 6, digging earth, pushing wagons and extracting ore. Tunnel 6 was a copper and gold mine and temperatures underground were over 41C. Working conditions were extremely tough. Living conditions were very poor and the prisoners were malnourished. Many allied POWs died of disease or as a result of accidents in the mine, far away from home. The survivors were repatriated when the war ended.  However, Edwards, one of the survivors, returned to Taiwan to help investigate war crimes and found the remnants of a war time order. The Japanese government saw that the war was going badly and planned to kill the prisoners in Taiwan. Though the order was not carried out, it is chilling when we contemplate today. There is a memorial stone on the site of the camp reminding people of the cruelty and horror of war.


7. Cherry Blossom Road


It’s one of the famous trails in the Gold Ecological Park.  On each side of the trail, there are various cherry trees.  They blossom in February and March.  There are some special plants, such as sweet potatoes, striated banyan figs and so on.

Cherry Blossom Road
Cherry Blossom Road
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Giant elephant’s ear
Sweet Potatoes
Striated banyan figs
Striated banyan figs

8.  Waste Gas Pipes


The flues were used to exhaust the smokes from the copper refinery to where there were no residents in the hills above.  The flues are about two meters high and one and a half meters wide. They were abandoned when Taiwan Metals Mining Corp. shut down.  Inside the flue a large quantity of secondary minerals have accumulated making to unsafe to enter.  It is claimed that they are the longest flues in the world.  The trail lasts for 1.2 km.  It is one of the unique sights of Jinguashi.


9.  Golden Waterfalls


The substantial Jinguashi rainfall seeps into the mine shafts through cracks in the surface rock, becoming acidulous water after interacting with the pyrite and energite underground and undergoing oxidation reduction. A natural wonder “Gold Waterfall” has formed where the terrain drops sharply. This is not only the best scenery for visitors and movie directors to take scenes but also one of the sources of the Yin-yang Sea.

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10. Ying-yang Sea


People might wonder why the sea formed with yellow and blue seawater.  It is said that the Jinguashi geology has a large amount of pyrite that, after millions of years has formed Fe3+ which does no dissolve easily in water. This forms iron ion floating particles when it flows into the sea, resulting in the strange sight of the Yin-yang Sea.

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11.  Remains of The Thirteen Levels

This was the ore sorting and smelting plant for the Taiwan Metals Mining Corp.  It is built into the hillside and old miners and local people usually call it “13 stories.”  The process of smelting ore at Jinguashi was split into mining, sorting, smelting and refining.  Shuinandong Smelter (13 stories) was an important facility in the gold making process.  Built in 1933, the Shuinandong Smelter (13 stories) now resembles another neglected Pompeii, bearing witness to the large scale of the mining industry in “gold mountain” in times gone by, an industry hoping for an opportunity to live again.

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Remains of The Thirteen Levels picking site.
Remains of The Thirteen Levels
(old image)


12. Jinshui Highway


It connects Jinguashi to Shuinandong and then extends to Coastal Highway.  Its front half way part was built along the wall of the mountain which was called U-bend because of its many turns.  It’s popular for ad to take pictures so it was also called Lover Highway.

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Jinshui Highway during the day
Jinshui Highway during the night.

13.  Walls


Jinguashi is a mountain city.  There is little plain.  In order to increase the living space and roads, townspeople used local stones as building materials to built the walls in the shape of herringbone bond, gable bond, mixed bond and Flemish bond and so on.  Herringbone bond brickwork is most common to see.

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14. Air Compressors


Since the tunnel is quite about 600 km long, in order to keep the air fresh in the tunnel, there were several air compressors with 500 or 600 hp sent the fresh air from the entrance of the tunnel.  They were used to keep the air fresh and be also the power sources of drilling machines.

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15. Test Stone


Under the air compressors, there is a stone with bumps and hollows.  It was used to test the function of the air compressors after they were maintained or repaired.

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