Green Island Lighthouse – Green Island, Taiwan - Atlas Obscura

Green Island Lighthouse

An American lighthouse stands on an island cliffside in Taiwan. 


In 1937, an American ocean liner, the SS President Hoover, ran aground on the coral reefs off the coast of Lüdao (Green Island), Taiwan, which was under Japanese colonial possession. Local islanders who saw the wreck motored out on fishing boats to help the crew and passengers ashore. To thank them, the American Red Cross funded the construction of an American-style lighthouse on the northwestern tip of the island, near the place of the wreckage.

The structure was designed by a Japanese architect and constructed by the islanders. Building was completed in 1939, only two years before Japan, and thus Taiwan, would be at war with America.

American bombing destroyed the lighthouse during World War II, but the structure was rebuilt in 1948 by Chiang Kai-shek’s government. From 1949 to 1987, tens of thousands of political dissidents were imprisoned by the Chinese Nationalist Party, many on Green Island. Not far from the lighthouse, the Green Island Human Rights Culture Park serves as a memorial to that period.

In 2013, the Taiwanese government opened the lighthouse to the public. Today, the 1o8-foot-tall lighthouse sits high on a cliff on the Green Island shoreline. Easily accessed by stairs, visitors can admire the lighthouse’s storied history, as well as views of the ocean and island.

Know Before You Go

The lighthouse is open to visitors Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.. Admission is free.

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April 29, 2024

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