Sunday, April 12, 2009

Sword-lions in Anping

Anping is the oldest part of Tainan, which itself is the oldest city on the island. One unique local tradition is the 'sword-lion' motif. These emblems, which appear above many doorways, are thought to ward off evil. The colourful one shown here is one of the most famous. It belongs to a house which is now a roofless wreck (but which the citygovernment has promised to restore).

I noticed the second sword-lion a few days ago when visiting Anping. Presumably it was once painted...

Rich Matheson, who took the cover photo for my guidebook, has an excellent set of photos of sword lions on his website.

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