Treasure Hill 寶藏嚴 (1)

Somehow most of the people, even those who have been living in Taipei for many years, have never heard of this place and even less people have visited it. Although it's located right in the city center, very close to the busy Gongguan 公館 area and the National Taiwan University 國立台灣大學, it's still quite easy to miss.

Treasure Hill has a very interesting history. It started as an illegal settlement for 6 families of the veterans who came to Taiwan with Chiang Kai-shek in the late 1940s. For many years the place lived and developed on it's own pace. More and more families came to live there, the number of illegal constructions was growing, temples appeared. Treasure Hill was bustling with live. 

It was a messy place, with no running water, not connected to the electric power line, with no sewage. After many decades of this kind of living conditions, in 1993 the Taipei City mayor decided to tear down the settlement. In the following years many houses were torn down and people relocated, but there were still many residents that did not agree to move. They were supported by different NGOs. After years of deliberations and many demonstrations the residents and City Government agreed on establishing an International Arts Village on the Treasure Hill. The old residents can still stay there, but at the same time the area was opened to the artists to work and exhibit their works. Of course right now Treasure Hill has running water, electricity and all other amenities. 

Taipei Cultural Foundation under the auspice of  Taipei City Government Department of Cultural Affairs is now in charge of the Treasure Hill. And ... to top it all up ... it is also the location of the new Taipei Media School, a non-school experimental education initiative run by ... my husband. 

Since Tim's school started operating in Treasure Hill our family has been visiting the area quite often. Before Mid-Autumn Festival last year, we even learned how to make traditional dish, zongzi, from the residents. You can read more about it HERE (in Polish).

The very original architecture and murals of Treasure Hill are worth taking look at, too bad the photos can not convey the spirit of the place.

There is also plenty of green area on the hill. In my next post I will write more about the Treasure Hill community garden.

There is also a new addition - a sun-dial clock.

The first night of 2017 we've spent at The Attic, the tiny hostel in Treasure Hill. It's a very quaint hostel. If you plan on staying in the area for a night or two it would be a nice place to rest. 

We were lucky to stay in the apartment with the best view.

The living room area:

The bathroom:

The bedroom:

Next time you will be in Gongguan area, remember to visit this hidden treasure - the old settlement and the art village at Treasure Hill.