Hulishan Battery lies to the south of the Xiamen Island. Construction began in 1894 during the Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911) and ended in 1896. It covers an area of more than 70,000 square meters (about 17 acres) and is composed of barracks, a tunnel, a magazine and other fortified buildings, all surrounded by a granite wall. The ground on which the battery is built is quite solid because it is made of a mixture of ash, mud and sand with glutinous rice and brown sugar. Two large cannons once guarded the east and the south sides, but only one remains.
These cannons, produced in 1886, were bought from a German arsenal at a cost of 80,000 taels of silver each. The remaining cannon is more than 13 meters (about 42.7 feet) long and weighs 50 tons. It has a range of 1,600 meters (about one mile). It is the largest and oldest 19th century breechloader in existence. Additionally, there are more than 50 iron cannons made during in the Ming (1368 - 1644) and the Qing Dynasties on the grounds. Between the eastern and the southern batteries is a tunnel in which 29 cannonballs are now on display. At the exit of the tunnel are the barracks. Hulishan Battery was an important defensive factor during the war against Japanese aggression in 1900 and 1937.
In the Rongguang Museum, tourists can see ancient firecrackers, guns, swords and unusual natural stones from around the world. Exhibits include the world's smallest cannon, which was made by the Portuguese in the 13th century. It has a length of 11 centimeters (about 4.33 inches) and a weight of 0.22 kilograms (about half a pound). Its diameter and caliber are 22 centimeters (about 8.67 inches) and 0.8 centimeters (about 0.31 inches) respectively.
Included in the exhibit of stones are two unusual ones. The first is a Burman stone with a weight of 2.5 tons, which has a long, wavy stripe from the northeast to the southwest that looks like 'a picture of huge amount of water pouring from the sky'. The second one is even more interesting; it bears an astonishing resemblance to a piece of meat with skin, fat and muscle.
Around Hulishan Battery, there are many other attractions, including Wanggui Platform and Pangui Platform from which tourists can see Dadan Island and Erdan Island through a telescope. All in all, the Hulishan Battery Scenic Spot is worth your visit.
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