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Index>Historic Sites & Ancient Monuments
Dasi Old Streets  
     

Dasi Old Streets

IINFORMATION
The Historic Sites of Dasi, Taoyuan County
Cultural Affairs Bureau of Taoyuan County Government
Date of Announcement: January 13, 2004
Registered Category: Old City Streets


THE HISTORY OF DEVELOPMENT OF DASI OLD STREETS
(Text:Chaobo Jhang)

Since the later Cianlong Period, the Han People had leased land from the Kaidagelan tribes to farm for a living in Dasi Area. Situated in the midst of the farming area, difficult to access, and suitable for building a port, Dasi old streets gradually developed into the most important city streets in the upper reaches of Dahan Stream.
A number of store-houses on both Lower Street (now Heping Road) and Upper Street (now Jhongyang Road) lifted the curtain on the development of Dasi Old Streets. Built in 1813, the large temple Furen Gong was relocated here by Pinghou Lin, the founder of the Lin Family in Banciao so as to stay away from the fighting between the Jhang people and the Cyuan people. A grand stone architecture was built and named Tongyidi and along the wall thereof city streets were gradually developed.
In 1862, a trading port was opened in Danshuei. In the meantime, the resources in the mountain area near Dasi were rapidly exploited and tea and camphor became the main exporting products. Furthermore, city streets including Sin Street, Caodianwei Street and Houwei Street were developed at the same time. In 1886, Mingchuan Liu established an administration office to undertake full responsibility for development which boosted the prosperity of Dasi street region and gave birth to Sinnan Street (now Jhongshan Road).
The early years of the colonial rule of Taiwan were the prime time of Dasi. In those years, the resources near the mountain region continued to be exploited and the life in the stores and wine houses on the streets of Dasi was hurly-burly. A city restructuring plan to expand roads and add arcades was announced in 1912 and therefore splendidly decorated archways mushroomed one by one.
As the excavation of Taoyuan Ditch in 1928 had quite an impact on the river transport of Dahan Stream, Dasi lost its position as an industry center and ceased to develop. Accordingly, to date Dasi old streets have been able to remain as they were in the old days.

Upper Street (now Jhongyang Road) in the past
Upper Street (now Jhongyang Road) in the past
Grand Stone Building, Tongyidi in the old days
Grand Stone Building, Tongyidi in the old days
Lower Street (now Heping Road) in the past
Lower Street (now Heping Road) in the past

SPACE PLANNING OF THE STORES ON DASI OLD STREETS
(Text: Ciouyu Yang)

The space of stores are generally described as x kan, y luo and z guoshuei; however, the residents of Dasi adopt simpler terms such as three luo two guoshuei and three luo. Kan, lou and guoshuei plus shenjing are space units of the stores.
Kan is the measurement unit of stores and therefore a kan of store means one store. The width of a store including the earthen walls on its left and right side equalled the size of the crossbeam which was subject to the length of the ship sailing between Taiwan and the Mainland at that time.
Luo refers to the space under a set of roof slopes. The first luo has the shop and salesclerk’s rooms; the second luo has the main hall and the shop owner’s room; the third luo has the resting hall and rooms of the owner’s family; and the fourth luo has other rooms. The space allotment has the store in the front and the living space at the back. Four luo is the maximum scope with a length approximately 55 meters.
Guoshuei refers to the corridor connecting two luo with a single slope roof and located on one side of shenjing. The term guoshuei comes from the meaning that one will not get wet when one goes from one luo to another in rainy days. The amount of guoshuei ranges from one to four. Usually the kitchen is located in one of them while the rest are called sianglu.
Shenjing refers to the open space between two luo. The term was adopted by the locals to mean where one can see the sky. It provides the space for washing and sunning clothes, for offering sacrifices to gods/ancestors, for children’s playground, and for adults to relax in the cool. Additionally, it provides ventilation and natural lighting.

Diagram:Space Units of Stores
Diagram:Space Units of Stores

MAKE-UP OF DASI OLD STREETS – THE STORY OF THE FACADE OF AN ARCHWAY(Text: Ciouyu Yang) 

he old structure selling ferry tickets beside the path is now a coffee shop.
The old structure selling ferry tickets beside the path is now a coffee shop.
The old path is still a part of the living of the residents nearby.
The old path is still a part of the living of the residents nearby.
Big tree and large stones beside the path where coolies used to rest in the cool.
Big tree and large stones beside the path where coolies used to rest in the cool.
Turning round and looking at Dahan Stream and Wuling Bridge from the top of the path
Turning round and looking at Dahan Stream and Wuling Bridge from the top of the path
The steep slope of the old path is built with stone stairs and a fence
The steep slope of the old path is built with stone stairs and a fence. Please feel at ease to walk slowly.
The chief deity of Puji Temple is Guangong
The chief deity of Puji Temple is Guangong; his pilgrimage procession is held annually on his birthday, namely June 24th of the lunar calendar.

ARCHITECTURAL DETAILS

The Old Flagstone Path runs sigzag along a terrace cliff roughly 30 meters high. The width of each sector of the path ranges from 2.1 meters to 1.5 meters. Most of the path is composed of stairs while a small part is slope. The path is paved with fringe stones of roughly 15 cm wide in a lengthwise direction on both sides.
The flagstones used to pave the old path are obtained from the bottom of Dahan Stream. The width of the stones ranges from 15 cm to 20 cm while the length of small stones is roughly 50 cm and that of the big ones can reach 120 cm. As the height of the stairs ranges from 5 cm to 10 cm and the depth thereof ranges from 30 cm to 60 cm, it is very easy for people to lift his foot and walk along the steps. With regard to those coolies carrying and moving goods along the path in the old days, it may also make it easier for them to advance with lighter steps, thereby alleviating their burden.

The Path zigzags up the hill, thereby views changing The Path zigzags up the hill, thereby views changing constantly. Flagstones of the old path obtained from the bottom of Dahan Stream
Flagstones of the old path obtained from the bottom of Dahan Stream

HOW TO GET HERE?




By Bus Take Taoyuan Passenger Bus in Taoyuan or Jhongli to the last stop, Dasi. The journey takes about 60 minutes and regular buses are scheduled.
By Car Take the 2nd Northern Highway to Dasi exit; take Tai-4 Route, cross Wuling Bridge and arrive at Dasi; turn right to arrive at the parking lot beside the Jhongjheng Park; walk to the intersection of Puji Road and Heping Road and arrive at the Old Flagstone Path.

Supervised by: Cultural Affairs Bureau of Taoyuan County Government
Administered by: Mei Shan Jin Co., Ltd.
Organized by: Graduate School of Architecture and Historic Preservation, Taipei National University of the Arts
Text: Chaobo Jhang
English Editor: Mingsyue Lai
Calligraphy: Yihong Li
Diagram/Layout: Huaisyuan Huang
Photographer: Cibin Gao
Published in May 2004

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