Shishan Battalion was the tunnelled artillery field with four combat assault battalions that was closest to China. The artillery field occupies Shishan (literally the “Lion Mountain”). With Shishan Observatory on the summit, the four battalions control the Donge Bay from the high ground of significant strategic values. Nowadays inside the second battalion, an 8-foot gun is still in operation. The 6-hectares military landscape of artillery fields and dormitories is adjacent to the Min-nan style buildings of Shanhou Folk Village within the conservation area of the national park.
The main tunnel is preserved according to their combat period in order to preserve the hand-chiseled texture of the rocks. The combat battalions is adopted into a briefing room. Walking from the main tunnel to the first battalion, the visitors imagine themselves participating military briefing during the combat meeting. The second battalion holds a operating 8-foot gun, therefore a dynamic display of real operation mission. The exhibition space is open under both usual and war times, while the other battalions are closed in the non-combat time. It is why the second battalion is interesting. In usual time, the trained actors perform the gun operation of shooting mission, while real soldiers take over and perform real shooting mission during war time. The ammunition storage and bedrooms are planned as ammunition displays. The branch tunnel of Shekou is connected to the main defensive tunnel. Steel-framed shelter outside connects the exhibition circulation and serves as the rain cover.
During the war time, Shishan drew much international media attention as the significant location that almost every foreign visitors would visit. The captain’s room outside the tunnel becomes the tourist center to serve its significance. It is the place the tourist first arrive and serve most frequent visits.
We define Shishan Battalion as a full display of field artillery battalion. The display covers both the outside and inside of the field artillery. The shuttling between inside and outside spaces weaves together the topography of granite bedrocks, combat assault battalion, overlook to Donge Bay, branch tunnel Shekou, the reused captain’s room and dormitories as well as the rich bird habitats. Together with the Shanhou and Shanxi vernacular settlements, the process threads together the military cultural landscape, ecologically sensitive preserves and the culture of Min-nan vernacular buildings.