As one of the earliest points of entry to Taiwan for Han Chinese immigrants, Keelung's name has appeared in text as early as the 16th century. The name itself is thought to be a corruption of the name of the Ketagalan tribe, an indigenous plains group that originated from the Taipei Basin.
What is less known about the region's rich history is that the adjacent Heping Island ― then known as Sheliao Island (社寮島) ― was an international trading port ruled by Spanish voyagers in the 1620s. This legacy as well as surrounding ecological treasures will be preserved by the upcoming Heping Island Park.
The sandy east coasts of Keelung have also stood witness to transcontinental battles including the First Opium War, otherwise called the Anglo-Chinese War, and the Tonkin War, which is better known as the Sino-French War.
This has led to prominent remnants of war and strife such as the Sino-French War Memorial Park ("Cimètiere Français de Kilung"), where reputedly over 700 French soldiers were laid to rest, and the Taiping Steamer Memorial Park, which commemorates the tragic loss of over 1,000 passengers and crew members abroad the steamer's fatal voyage in 1949.
Launched in January 2018, The Tagana Story seeks to preserve Keelung's history by connecting the aforementioned sites to map out the region's colonial trade prominence, wartime legacy, and cultural development since.
The project has received a budget of NT$576 million from the Ministry of Culture, which is implementing the Executive Yuan's "Reconstruction of Historical Scenes" initiative to promote urban and countryside development through strengthening the preservation and revitalization of historical memories and cultural assets.