Started in 1857, the Goryokaku was Japan’s first western-style castle designed by the Dutch scholar Takeda Ayasaburo on the orders of the Shogunate. When completed in 1864, the Hakodate Magistrate's Office was moved to the grounds of the Goryokaku. The castle was inspired by similar shaped fortified cities built in various parts of Europe, and the name Goryokaku means “Five-point star shape”. It became the site of the last samurai battle during the final stages of the Boshin War (1868 – 1869). In 1952 it was designated as the only Special Historic Site in Hokkaido. Preservation and maintenance projects soon began, the ishigaki were repaired and bridges were replaced. In 2010, using excavation research, old plans, and photos as a reference, one-third of the total building area of the government offices was restored using traditional methods.