The Chinese first settled in the Tainan area in 1590. Not long after, the Dutch arrived. After colonising the island, the Dutch used Tainan as a base for their trade with Japan and China. The Dutch ruled from 1624 until 1662, the year they were expelled by the Ming loyalist Koxinga.
Koxinga established his central government in Tainan and built up the city. In 1683, when the Qing dynasty regained control of Taiwan and turned it into an official province, Tainan was chosen as the capital. Tainan remained the political, cultural and economic centre of the island until 1885, when the capital moved to Taipei. If you have a discerning eye, Tainan’s pedigree is apparent by the stately quality of the city’s temples and historical sights.