Tainan is the oldest city in Taiwan and where the country's modern history began. The area was first settled in 1590 by the Chinese, shortly followed by the Dutch in 1624 who used the town as a trading base with Japan and China. In 1662, Koxinga overthrew the Dutch and established a Ming central government. His aim was to launch a Chinese cultural renaissance with his staff of musicians, artists, craftsmen, writers, and chefs. The Manchu Qing took control after three generations and made Tainan the capital of the province. Tainan remained the capital until 1885 when it was moved to Taipei.
This forward-thinking city has made a lot of progress to preserve its rich cultural history and to showcase it for tourists. Tainan, the "City of a Hundred Temples", is simply being modest. It has over 220 major temples and innumerable minor shrines. Some of the most popular ones are Koxinga's Shrine, , and the Temple of the Jade Emperor. The city's goal is to maintain a clean and cultured society, and is well worth a visit.