In 1865, missionary priest Dr. James Laidlaw Maxwell came to Taiwan. He first landed at Qihou in Takao Harbor (Currently Qijian, Kaohsiung City,), then he then went to Tainan to practice medicine and preach. Afterwards, he was forced to go back to Takao by rioters. The next year he purchased land, and built a clinic and a church on Qihou Mountain. It became the Presbyterian Church first chapel in Taiwan, called Takao Chapel.
The current site of the Qihou Presbyterian Church is the former site of Takao Chapel. The church refuses to have the chapel architecture to be designated as a historical monument. After several renovations, the original architecture of the chapel was not preserved. However with its age, it should still considered a “historical monument.”
The church design is simple. The exterior is made up of terrazzo, and the color low key and solemn gray. With detailed observation, you can see that the cross on top of the chapel does not face the same way as the facade, and faces the ocean. The church elders said that when it was built there were no other buildings surrounding the chapel, and it was the tallest building at the time. Therefore in order to make the lighted cross visible to ships in Kaohsiung, the cross was made to face the ocean during construction.
In the chapel, when you look up, you will see that the incandescent lights on the ceiling are arranged in the shape of the cross. It can be deemed as another kind of “Church of Light” with Taiwanese Style!