This is Tamsui’s most prominent monument to foreign involvement in Taiwan. First built in 1629 by the Spanish, Fort San Domingo was intended to aid the imposition of Spanish rule over the local Chinese and aboriginal populations in northern Taiwan.
This fort was captured by the Dutch in 1642 when they drove the Spanish from the island. They replaced the Spanish-built stockade with a fort made of stone. The fort became known as the “Hongmao Castle” (Fort of the Red Heads) in reference to the colorful locks of its Dutch occupants.
In 1867, the British leased the fort and undertook massive renovations, which included the construction of the imposing British Consulate in the eastern section of the fortress compound. Its red brick verandah and red roof tiles complement the color scheme and design of the fort.
Hongmao Castle’s position overlooking the mouth of the Tamsui River makes it a particularly attractive scenic spot, especially at sunset.