Shuitou’s western buildings’ settlement
Stories told by architecture
Jinshui Elementary School is located in Kinmen’s Shuitou western buildings settlement. In 1921, the Huang family at Shuitou, value highly the importance of education, planned to construct the Jinshui Elementary School to cope with the increasing numbers of students in Kinmen. The school started in the Huang’s family temple until it was insufficient and had to raise money from overseas Chinese in the south Pacific. After the school was built, it was maintained and managed by the board of renown squire organizations. It gradually become the largest and most comprehensive elementary school in Kinmen.
Jinshui Elementary School, the exquisite, magnificent western building
The way the buildings of the school was located looks like two squares, the larger encompassing the smaller one. The shape resembles a Chinese character “Huei”, which means return. The smaller square is composed by the school’s main hall, while the larger square is composed by the classrooms, headmaster’s office, and the health room. On the front is a western building with a veranda and two gables on the side. The walls are made of bricks. The red, round brick-made pillars are rare in Taiwan and Fujian area. The main door, the corridors beside the side doors, and the clay-sculptured decorations are represented in a Southern Pacific style. On the gable on top of the main door, there are exquisite clay carvings of angles, shields, eagles, flowers and grasses. The magnificent decorations demonstrated a sense of wester baroque architecture.
Deyue Tower, highest building in Kinmen
The person that construct the tower was Huang Huei-huang (黃輝煌) from the Shuitou village’s Huang family. He worked as retailer in Indonesia at the beginning of 1920s. He hired Chen Nan-an, an architect from Fujian Province to design the tower after he became rich. The tower is 11.26 meters high; its walls 40 centimeters thick. There are five stories, including one underground basement. The structural system of the four stories above the ground is sustained by firs paved with red bricks. There is a solid flight of stairs inside the building that reaches to each floor. After the building was constructed, the tower was named Deyue Tower, which means “reaching the moon” in Chinese. The name was inspired by a quote from ancient Chinese poetry, which depicted that a tower located nearer to water has better chance in grasping the moon.
A peek at the ancestors’ daily lives
The carvings on top of the building are exquisite and beautiful. Every item has its own meaning. For instance, a clock indicating 12:40 p.m. was meant to encourage predecessors to work diligently, and not just think about dinner at noon. Furthermore, the tiles in the living room, study and other rooms were arranged differently to symbolize longevity and high fertility of baby boys.
Wind Lion God Museum: worth a try!
Also located in Kinmen’s Shuitou Village, there is a Wind Lion God Museum. Upon entrance, you can see a clay sculpture of a Wind Lion God and a map showing the locations in Kinmen where you can find it. There are also postcards of the Wind Lion God where visitors can send their unique affections to friends. There are also several cute Wind Lion God souvenirs to choose from, made by Wuzhou Ceramics Art Inc (浯州陶藝所). To not miss out on this when you visit here!