A historical place that worth of visit.
On April, 1975, the entire nation mourned the passing of President Chiang Kai-shek. In June, in response to suggestions from all sectors, the funeral committee members decided to build the CKS Memorial Hall in Taipei, in order to commemorate the memory of our great leader.
The Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei is the island's most impressive monument to the late president. The memorial hall's massive marble edifice dominates beautiful gardens, graceful pavilions, and placid ponds. A Ming-style arch at the main entrance is flanked by two buildings: the National Theater and the National Concert Hall.
Completed in 1980, only a few years after the death of ROC president Chiang Kai-shek, the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Park has a massive courtyard that leads up to the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, and is flanked by the National Theatre and the National Concert Hall (If you can't tell the difference, when you enter through the main gate, the National Concert Hall is on your left, and the National Theatre on your right). There are three gates to the park (and the memorial hall), of which I only passed through one, the Gate of Centrality and Perfect Uprightness (which is the main, and largest gate). I can't really tell you about the other two.
There is a flag raising ceremony here each morning at 6:30, but that's something I haven't seen (and that I will try to see in my next visit to Taipei). You're also likely to run into some of Taipei's major political figures while you're here (When I was at the CKS Memorial Park at night, I saw Li Wenjen, a protestor who went on a five-day hunger strike to try to get Chen Shuai-bien to resign from office; there were many more demonstrations similar to that one while I was in Taiwan).
The grand archway leads to the memorial honouring Chiang Kai Shek, the first president of Taiwan. The octagonal blue roof and white wall building really stand out in the square as it's situated high up.
The bronze statue of Chiang Kai Shek is inside the memorial, with soliders standing on guard. It's amazing that those soliders hardly move during their shift.
The memorial was renamed to National Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall in May 2007. The archway used to have the four Chinese characters (as shown in the photo) meaning Great Centrality and Perfect Uprightness were removed in December 2007. It has changed to another set of four characters meaning Liberty Square.
CKS Memorial Hall is an impressive monument to the hero of the Chinese democratic movement. He fought against the Japanese during World War II, then fought against Mao Tse Tung after WWII to prevent the communists from overtaking the government. After losing this struggle, CKS and his government fled to Taiwan. This memorial consists of a gigantic white and blue gate and the six-sided CKS Memorial Hall with a wonderful museum and gallery.
Large park and monument dedicated to the famous Chinese Generalissimo. Nice green place to get away from the stifling bustle of the city...
Come early in the morning and you can see a bevy of activities including ballroom dancing, taichi, homeless people napping, and the occasional camera toting tourist snapping away.
The CKS memorial itself is getting a facelift at the moment, so I included a picture of the imposing front gate instead.
The easiest way to get here is to take the Hsintien (Green) MRT line two stops south of Hsimen.
Although the displays on Chiang Kai Shek are guilty of not mentioning any of the bad things he was involved with, the top part has excellent displays on the history of democracy in Taiwan.
The surrounding park, and the hall itself are spectacular. A must do if you are in Taipei.
This massive white, marble building with a blue-tiled, pagoda-style roof is a monument to the first President of Taiwan, who died in April 1975. The Memorial Hall was built the following year. It was designed by local architect, Yang Cho-cheng. The octagonal roof represents the eight moral principles: jhong, siao, ren, ai, sin, yi, he, and ping (loyalty, piety, altruism, love, trust, nobility, harmony, and peace). On three sides of the Memorial Hall, there are 84 granite steps. With the 5 further steps leading up to the front entrance, there is a total of 89 steps, signifying Chiang Kai-Shek's age when he died
Inside the hall you can see the changing of the guard in front of his bronze statue. The Memorial Hall stands in the middle of the even more massive Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Park.
Open: 9 am- 6.30 pm daily.
Each hour, from 9:00 to 17:00, there is the changing of the guard at the CKS Memorial Hall. This 10-minute long process involves 5 soldiers, 2 of which replace the two guards which have stood by the giant statue of Chiang Kai-shek for an hour in sweltering heat. There is small show of weaponry, which is admireable because of the precision of the guards. Still, what is to be most admired about the guards at the CKS Memorial Hall is that they must stand absolutely still, barely blinking for an hour, in humid Taiwan weather that often tops 35 degrees C.
Although the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall is impressive in the daytime, it is equally beautiful after nightfall. You could spend a good amount of time walking in the area and viewing locals playing sports or excersing; you could also catch a show or a concert at either the National Theatre or the National Concert Hall. Both Taipei 101 and the Shin-Kong Life Building are illuminated in the evening, which creates a very beautiful scene.
Many of my photos taken after nightfall are rather fuzzy, so I'll apologize first. Be sure to bring a tripod (not one of those crappy lightweight ones, though) if you plan to take any photos.
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