The North Gate is located at the intersection of Zhongxiao West Road, Yanping North Road, Zhonghua Road, Yanping South Road and Bo’ai Road in Zhongzheng District.
There are five historic city gates in Taipei: the East Gate (Jingfu Gate), West Gate (Baocheng Gate), South Gate (Lizheng Gate), Lesser South Gate (Chongxi Gate) and North Gate (Cheng’en Gate). They were built by Liu Ming-chuan during the reign of Emperor Guangxu in the Qing Dynasty as a measure to expedite urban development by encouraging businessmen to invest in or build houses/streets in Taipei City.
Also known as Cheng’en Gate, the North Gate in erstwhile Taipei City served as a major gateway to Dadaocheng. The two-story fortress of North Gate is enclosed by sturdy walls in the form of a highly guarded citadel. For surveillance and defense reasons, the square- and round-shaped window openings on the front and back of fortress are the only two features on the second floor. Similar to the East Gate, the North Gate in its inception had a small enclosure on the outside, commonly referred to as “urn city”, or “Wong Cheng” in Chinese. There used to be a horizontal plaque saying “The Key to Territory Safety” which had hung across the gate. The plaque was unfortunately removed by Japanese colonial rulers and is now located on the empty lot in front of the North Gate for display.
In light of the emerging trend of cultural heritage preservation in recent years, the city authorities decided to abandon a demolition plan of the historic North Gate. Of the five ancient city gates, the North Gate is the only one that remains what it used to look like in the Qing Dynasty, as well as one of the most valuable state-designated historic sites in Taipei.