Banqiao District (Chinese: 板橋區; pinyin: Bǎnqiáo Qū) is a district and the seat of New Taipei, Taiwan. It has the third highest population density in Taiwan. It was formerly the 22nd densest city in the world, with over 24,000 people per square km. Until the December 25, 2010 creation of New Taipei City, Banqiao (then transliterated as Panchiao) was an incorporated county-controlled city and the former seat of Taipei County.
In the early 20th century, Pankyo (Pankyu) was a walled city and said to be owned by a "very wealthy Chinaman" who had lived there "in feudal style", surrounded by armed retainers.
Banqiao originated from an urban township which was then upgraded to a county-controlled city as Panchiao City of Taipei County on 1 July 1972. The city was upgraded to a district as Banqiao District on 25 December 2010.
Banqiao is located in western part of the Taipei Basin of northern Taiwan, in the subtropical climate zone. Banqiao is surrounded by Taipei to the east, Sanchong to the north, Xinzhuang to the northwest, Shulin to the southwest, Tucheng to the south, and Zhonghe to the southeast. Banqiao is also bordered by two rivers, Xindian River to the northeast and Dahan River to the northwest.
The city's old name was Pang-kio (Chinese: 枋橋; pinyin: Fāngqiáo; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Pang-kiô; literally: "timbered bridge"), which dates back to the Qing Dynasty during the reign of the Qianlong Emperor (1735 - 1796 AD). A wooden bridge, locally called Pang-kio-thau (枋橋頭), was built for pedestrians to cross a brook located in the west of today's Banqiao. The spellings Pankyu, Pankio, and Pankyo can be found in English-language works of the early 20th century.
In 1920, the Japanese government modified the name to Itahashi (板橋, "planked bridge"). The same characters are still used today, but are read Bǎnqiáo in Mandarin. However, in Taiwanese Hokkien, the old name Pang-kiô is still the norm.
Agriculture sector thrived in Banqiao in the 1950s. In the 1960s, manufacturing sector started to appear in the region and in the 1970s industries and commerce have developed. In the 1980-1990s, finance and commercial grew in the area.
Banqiao is home to several universities, including the National Taiwan University of Arts. The National Banqiao High School is considered one of the top high schools in New Taipei City.
Due to its position as the government seat of New Taipei, Banqiao has several sports facilities (including Banqiao Stadium), and the annual New Taipei City sports game is hosted in the city. However, Banqiao lacks major baseball facilities, forcing its baseball fans to go to Taipei City or Xinzhuang District to watch baseball games.
Banqiao is well served by multiple public transportation services. Bus lines connect Banqiao with downtown Taipei and nearby cities. Five metro stations are located in Banqiao: four along the Banqiao Line and one on the Tucheng Line. High-speed rail bullet trains and conventional rail TRA trains are served by Banqiao Station. All rails through Banqiao have been located underground since 1997. The future Metro Circular Line will also run through the district.
Pankyu. See Pankio
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