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探 索 E X P L O R E Lukang’s significance, you could say, is rooted in its insignificance. Located halfway down Taiwan’s west coast, this little town enjoyed four generations of prosperity starting in the middle of the 18th century. In terms of population and economic activity, for several decades Lukang was second only to the then-capital, Tainan. During that era, Taiwan grew more rice than it needed, and the merchants of Lukang profited by shipping surplus grain to the Chinese mainland. They imported cloth, salted and dried fish, herbs, and other commodities. But even before the Japanese took control of Taiwan in 1895, silt began to block the port. The colonial authorities built a road network and completed the north-south railway. Rather than go to mainland markets, sugar and rice left for Japan from much better harbors like Keelung. Lukang lost its raison d’etre, and many of its entrepreneurs sought opportunities elsewhere. A Stroll Through History at Every Turn 尋味古早鹿港 BY STEVEN CROOK 1 . Despite repeated damage by natural disasters, Lukang Longshan Temple has been restored using traditional techniques. ︱ 2 . The caisson above the theater stage at Lukang Longshan Temple, built in 1831 , is the oldest and largest wooden caisson in Taiwan. ︱ 3 . Lukang City God Temple, formerly known as Ao Ting Temple, was named a class-C heritage site in 1985 . ︱ 4 . Built during the late Ming and early Qing dynasties, Lukang Heavenly Empress Temple is the only temple in Taiwan to worship a Heavenly Empress statue from the Meizhou Ancestral Temple. ︱ 5 . Lords of the Three Mountains Temple was built in 1737 , during the reign of the Qianlong Emperor. 1 . 鹿港龍山寺雖然歷經多次天災受損,仍依原有工法修復整建,因此保存了許多精美的建築和雕刻。︱ 2 . 鹿港龍山寺戲台上方的藻井,於道光 11 年(西元 1831 年)重修時所興建,是台灣保存年代最早且最大的 木構造藻井。︱ 3 . 鹿港城隍廟是一間民祀城隍廟,舊稱鰲亭宮, 1985 年公告為 3 級古蹟。︱ 4 . 鹿港天后 宮創建於明末清初,是台灣唯一奉祀湄洲祖廟開基媽祖神尊的廟宇。︱ 5 . 三山國王廟建於乾隆 2 年(西元 1737 年),供奉廣東揭陽縣巾山、明山及獨山三座山的神明。 Lukang PHOTOS / RICH MATHESON 1 42 ︱ Les îles