Taipei: Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall
The most prominent national monument and historical landmark, the National Chaing Kai-Shek Memorial Hall (國立中正紀念) was built in honor and as a memorial to the former military leader and the President of the Republic of China (aka Taiwan), Chiang Kai-Shek. It is located in Zhongzheng (another name of CKS) District, at the heart of Taipei.
The construction of the memorial hall immediately commenced in 1976 after the death of President CKS. It was opened in 1980 as a part of the national park and a venue for large gatherings.
The octagon-shaped structure rises at 76 meters, roofed with blue tiles and red accent, two prominent colors of the flag of Taiwan. Its eight sides represent the symbolism in Chinese culture associated with fortune and wealth. Its stairway has 89 steps, representing the age of CKS at the time of his death. The main hall houses the bronze statue of CKS, constantly watched by guards that change every hour.
The characters behind Chiang’s statue read “Ethics”, “Democracy”, and “Science”, and the inscriptions on the side read “The purpose of life is to improve the general life of humanity” and “The meaning of life is to create and sustain subsequent lives in the universe.”
Underneath the hall is a museum archiving the life and career of CKS. It also has exhibits on the history and culture of Taiwan. Also displayed is a Presidential Car, used by the country’s leaders.
Aside from the main hall which is surrounded by a large garden, there are also two imposing, impressive structures that looked almost similar – the National Concert Hall (國家音樂廳), and the National Theater (國家音樂廳). These two buildings are home to the country’s arts and host different performances throughout the year. These edifices are so impressive, due to them styled from traditional Chinese palaces built using modern techniques.
Aside from these large structures, the park is beautifully designed and has a relaxing landscape. Aside from tourists, locals are coming here to relax and feed the wildlife here such as birds, frogs, fish, and other small animals. They’re just artificial but eventually became natural and seamlessly blended with the landscape. At the middle of the city’s hustle and bustle, strolling here truly relieves any stress.
Note: The construction and naming of the park are covered in controversy. We did not delve much further during our visit, but it will be worthwhile of your time to read. Read Josh’s blog here with impressive pictures.
- By MRT
Take Red Line 2 or Green Line 3 to Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall (中正紀念堂), sometimes labeled as C.K.S. Memorial Hall.
Chiang Kai-shek is known by multiple names. His official name is pronounced Jiang Jieshi (Chiang Kai-shek in Cantonese), as well as the name Zhongzheng (中正), most commonly used to refer to Chiang Kai-shek. The Chinese name of the hall is in reference to this name, as is the countless Zhongzheng Roads found all over the island.
PART OF OUR TAIWAN GETAWAY
- NORTH COAST: Yehliu Geopark | Pingxi Sky Lantern | Shifen Waterfalls | Golden Waterfalls | Jiufen Old Street | Wanli Abandon UFO Houses
- TAIPEI: Ximendeng | Taipei 101 | Maokong Gondola | Elephant Mountain | Taipei Peace Park | Taipei Zoo | Chiang Kai Shek Memorial | Shilin Night Market | The Red House
- TAICHUNG: Zhongshe Flower Farm | Xinshe Castle | Rainbow Village | Gaomei Wetland Park