One of the most famous landmarks in all of Taiwan, would be the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial located in the heart of Taipei city. This memorial hall and square was built in the late 1970’s for the late Chiang Kai-Shek, who was the long time leader of Taiwan since the communist take over of the China mainland until his death in the mid 1970’s. He is one of the driving forces in the what has shaped Taiwan as it is today.
The public square itself is comparable to that of the Tiananmen Square in Beijing China, in terms of its grandeur. The entrance on the west side is marked by a huge gate built, and on one side of the square is the National Concert Hall, while the other is the National Theater. At the base of the far side of the square is the main Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall.
Luckily when my wife and I visited the place, they were in the middle of rehearsals for their big national day celebrations that took place on October 10. This was just not any ordinary national day celebration, this time around it would mark the centennial year of Taiwan’s existence! We saw scores of marching bands, and military performances all being rehearsed as a last minute preparation for the big day. It was drizzling rain that day, but that didn’t seem to deter them from practicing!
The huge main gates on the west side of the Chang Kai-Shek Memorial Square.
Taiwan’s national flag being setup along the square in preparation for the National Day celebrations.
The huge square, with the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall in the background.
The marching bands rehearsing their songs in front of the National Theater.
Closeup of the marching band. All standing uniform with tuba players in the foreground.
Military soldiers in alignment during the military performances – dress rehearsals.
View from the other side of the square looking at the marching band.
View of the National Concert Hall.
Rain or shine, the show must go on! Soldiers in their boxers rehearsing their marches in the rain.
Once we finished observing their dress rehearsals, we headed towards the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall. From the moment we spotted it in the distance we knew it would be grand. The hall itself is made with an all marble interior and exterior with blue tiles on the roof that is about 76 meters tall (250 ft)! You will need to walk several flights of stairs before reaching the entrance of the hall above. There you will see a bronze statue of the man itself…Chiang Kai-Shek! Similarly with the Martyr’s Shrine, there is a pair of soldiers standing guard to protect this national monument.
The Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial seen in the distance.
Closeup view of the memorial hall.
Just to give you a rough idea of how high the main entrance was above.
Chiang Kai-Shek sitting and looking out at the square.
That’s me! Standing in front of the massive statue.
The ceiling of the memorial hall. Emblazoned with the blue sun that is commonly seen on Taiwan’s national flag.
The crowds gathering around the main entrance of the memorial hall.
View of the square and surrounding areas, as viewed from the memorial hall.
One of the soldiers standing guard…with eyes of steel!
A visit to the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial is a must see landmark in Taipei. It is by far one of the most historically and politically significant places in Taiwan. Whether you are there during their National Day or not, it is a very remarkable place where you can get some nice pictures taken.
Visitor’s Information to the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial and Square:
Address: 21 Zhongshan S. Road Sec. 1
Opening hours: 9:00am – 6:30pm daily
Nearest MRT subway station: Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall MRT station
Admission fee: FREE
Location map of the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall.
Been to other interesting national monuments and memorials in other parts of the world? Please share your experiences below in the comments!