I have taken a break from writing in my blog because I was traveling back and forth from the USA, and also because we had visitors staying with us here in Taiwan. Papa and Mama were visiting here from Detroit! It was wonderful to have them here, and we did many fun and interesting things together.
I had been putting off writing in my blog, as I could not decide whether I wanted to “catch up” on 3 (!) months of photos and outings. But I have decided that my blog is also a written history of this period of my life, and so it is worth it to try to fill in that 3 month gap. So I am going to try to write two or three blog entries every week until I get caught up. So here is one of the two outings that we did before I left to go to the USA in March.
The Museum of Drinking Water is a museum about the history of drinking water in Taipei. I have now been to this museum three times, and I still find it fascinating.
The museum building was originally built in 1908. This Baroque-style building, with its domes and arches and decorations, is one of the most beautiful historical buildings in Taipei. The building that houses the museum used to be the pump room for a waterworks that was a major feature of Taipei’s early infrastructure development. After a new waterworks was built, the pump room was left unused for years, until it was decided to turn it into a museum. It was declared a third-class historic site in 1993 and opened as museum for the first time in September the same year.
Inside the pump room, displays tell the history of Taipei’s first modern waterworks. You can walk around the old American and Japanese machinery, which used to deliver clean drinking water to the city.
When the Japanese took over Taiwan in 1895, illnesses caused by water contamination were a major problem. Realizing the importance of an ample supply of clean water, they set about building a modern waterworks. Based on designs made by a British engineer, and completed in 1908, the waterworks supplied the main residential and business centers. The waterworks and pump room played a vital role in the early development of Taipei. Without clean water the Japanese colonial government could not have functioned, and Taipei could not have grown as it did.
I noticed that they had placed stuffed pandas on the old machinery throughout the museum building. These were not there the other two times when I had visited the museum.Were they were trying to celebrate the birth of the new baby panda at the Taipei Zoo? Or were they trying to make the old machinery more “cute” and interesting as a tourist attraction? The stuffed pandas got my attention, but seriously, almost nothing else is as cute and adorable as a baby panda, so any attempt to compete with a baby panda will result in failure!
The museum also has an outdoor equipment display area. There are many different types of water pipes in this area.
Jeff and Harmony had a lot of fun climbing on some of the old pipes and things in this part of the museum grounds!
Perhaps this was the “adult” playground section of the museum ?
There is also a playground for children built from old pipes and other equipment on the museum grounds. The cute statue made from water pipes in the photo below was near the children’s playground.
There was a section of pipe on display that was bent in the big Taiwan earthquake of September 21, 1999, on the museum grounds.
A hillside path leads up to a large water storage tank at the top of a hill on the grounds of the Taipei Drinking Water Museum.
Jeff was disappointed that there was not much of a view of Taipei from the top of the hill. But there was another interesting statue made from old water pipes.
Every time when I have come to this museum, I have seen something new. This time, when we took a different path down the hill from the water storage tank, we discovered some old army bunkers not far from the path.
These were likely built by the Japanese to protect the water facility, but there was no sign explaining why they were there.
I liked this sign so much that I had to include it in the blog post. Snacks can indeed be a danger (to your waistline!) in Taiwan. However we did not see any snacks active in this area of the Taipei Drinking Water Museum grounds!