Old Tainan Prefecture Hall

This gorgeous building is now the National Museum of Taiwanese Literature. It was formerly the Tainan Prefecture Hall, a kind of City Hall and County Administration Building combined. It was built in 1916 and designed by the Japanese architect  Moriyama Matsunosuke. Matsunosuke was responsible for several stunning structures in Taipei and appears to have been quite prolific during his time as the chief architect of the colonial government. He was very big on large monumental buildings reflective of contemporary European structures. The buildings use a mixed mannerist style of architecture with heavy French influences particularly in the Mansard roofs. Tainans’ hall is V-shaped with a front foyer, long office wings, and it once had a courtyard garden in the back. Badly damaged during World War II, the building was never fully restored until the government decided to convert into the the present museum, opening in 2003. I very much admire the way that that the Taiwan government has preserved so many of their heritage architecture and believe that this structure is a great example of not only their commitment but their creativity and class.

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