Fort San Domingo was a story of one European power after another seizing this location near the mouth of the Tamsui River. First the Spanish arrived in the early 1600s to deter Japanese troops invading. They built a wooden fort that was burnt down in 1636 when the aboriginal population rebelled against them. Just as they completed a stone fort, the viceroy of the Philippines commanded them to withdraw from Tamsui.
The Dutch were next on the scene. They intercepted merchant ships thus disrupting Spanish trade. In the Keelung battle of 1642, the Dutch defeated the Spanish and the island came under the control of the Dutch East India Company. With 1.9 metre thick stone and brick walls around the fort they could observe Tamsui River and control the traffic.
In the 1800s it was the British who took control. It was not difficult to read the greed of Europeans from these events.