The Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is a must see in Taipei. It was erected in memory of Chiang Kai-shek, former President of the Republic of China. It was designed by architect Yang Cho-cheng. Groundbreaking for the memorial took place on 31 October 1976, the 90th anniversary of Chiang’s birth. The hall officially opened on 5 April 1980, the fifth anniversary of the leader’s death.
Yang’s design placed the main building at the east end of the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Park. Yang placed a main gate, the Gate of Great Centrality and Perfect Uprightness, at the west end on Chung Shan South Road. The Gate of Great Loyalty stands at the north side on Hsin Yi (Xinyi) Road and a Gate of Great Piety stands at the south side on Ai Kuo (Aiguo) East Road. A Boulevard of Homage, bordered by manicured bushes, connects the main hall with the square. The roof is blue and octagonal, a shape that picks up the symbolism of the number eight, a number traditionally associated in Asia with abundance and good fortune. Two sets of white stairs, each with 89 steps to represent Chiang’s age at the time of his death, lead to the main entrance. The ground level of the memorial houses a library and museum documenting Chiang Kai-shek’s life and career and exhibits related to Republic of China-era Chinese history, and Taiwan’s history and development. The upper level contains the main hall, in which a large statue of Chiang Kai-shek is located, and where a guard mounting ceremony takes place in regular intervals.
As I mentioned in the full blog post, the Memorial Park reminds me of Tienanmen Square in Beijing. I think the Memorial Park is more colorful and beautiful than Tienanmen Square but doesn’t have the same history or size. It would have been nice to see the changing of the guards but the buildings themselves were well worth the visit.
Read the full blog post about Taipei here: