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First Taipei Heritage Day on September 17

Old house guided tours, photography contest and graphic novels to promote stories of Taipei culture
The first Taipei Heritage Day will take place on September 17 this year, with a series of activities centered around the theme of Taipei’s “old houses”, including guided tours of eight different old houses, where members of the public will be able to enter the cultural heritage sites, hear about the restoration process and listen to the management team. A photography contest and a human rights graphic novel reading will draw attention to the cultural heritage of lanes and alleys and enable residents to see the city with new eyes and encounter the profound beauty of Taipei’s historical culture.
Taipei Heritage Day launches eight guided tours: Experience the cultural stories of Taipei while roaming the city
In response to the global trend towards the preservation of cultural heritage, Taiwan designated the third Saturday in September National Heritage Day. In turn, to promote the cultural heritage of Taipei City, we have organized a series of activities for Taipei Heritage Day, also on the third Saturday every September.
This year, eight guided tours on various heritage themes have been planned to take members of the public around Taipei City and convey each locale’s unique cultural stories. The Road to Restoration of the Wanhua Clan tour will take in the local cultural heritage buildings of Hsueh-hai Academy (學海書院), which served as the ancestral halls of the Gao family, and Wanhua Lin Family House (萬華林宅). Visitors will be able to learn about the history of the Wanhua clan and admire the architectural features of the revitalized historical sites.
Meanwhile, the Grand Transformation of Prison Administration Buildings tour will centre on the former Taipei Prison Office, located on Jinhua Street (金華街), where visitors can see the former site of Taipei Prison and dormitories where prison officials lived, admire the beauty of the architecture from the Japanese colonial era and learn about the history of prison administration in Taiwan.
The other six routes include guided tours to Chengnan (城南), Dadaocheng (大稻埕) and Yuanshan (圓山), and will also involve visits to old houses that integrate local culture and history, giving members of the public the chance to roam the streets and alleys and experience the cultural stories of Taipei.
Expert guided tours, old houses brought back to life
In addition to the exciting routes, this year’s Taipei Heritage Day guided tours will feature a formidable lineup of speakers. Experts including Cultural Heritage Committee members Hsueh Chin (薛琴) and Lee Chian-lang (李乾朗) and architectural teams with a wealth of experience in cultural heritage restoration will speak about their cultural heritage research. Taipei Old House Cultural Movement management and revitalization teams have also been enlisted to give introductions to the old houses, share their experiences of building restoration and revitalization, guide people around restored cultural heritage sites such as Hsueh-hai Academy, Chen Dexing Ancestral Hall (陳德星堂) and the former Japanese-styled Residence of Nancaiyuan (南菜園日式宿舍) and explain restoration methods and building materials.
Each guided tour will also include a special itinerary, with coffee, tea, French-style light snacks and tea ceremonies provided, to immerse participants in the charms of cultural heritage. Registration opens on August 25. Detailed information on registration can be found on our Facebook page [link].
The Heritage Day event series will also include an open call for the Old House Photography Contest, with registration beginning on August 15. Fans of old houses and photography are invited to descend on the streets of Taipei and capture their finest images of old houses. Total cash prizes will amount to NT$100,000 and the winning images will be exhibited in November at the former Taipei Prison Office on Jinhua Street.
On October 2, a Human Rights Graphic Novel Reading Session will be held at the Taiwan New Cultural Movement Memorial Museum. Families are invited to come and learn about historical events and the importance of preserving cultural heritage sites by reading graphic novels set in cultural heritage sites. Those who sign up will receive a Human Rights Heritage Site Escape Room activity pack.
We hope the guided tours, photography contest and on-site reading activities will inspire the public to visit old houses and take part in cultural heritage preservation, and share the fruits of efforts to revitalize old houses. Registration information for the various events will be posted on our Facebook fan page [link].