The Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall (中正紀念堂) is the most prominent national monument, landmark and tourist attraction erected in memory of Chiang Kai-Shek, former President of the Republic of China. Chiang Kai-Shek was the commander-in-chief of China when it was one of the Allied Nations during World War II. Thereafter, he became the first president of Republic of China under the 1947 Constitution of Republic of China and was in position for 27 years.
The name of the Square, on which the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall is situated, is officially Liberty Square (自由廣場). Apart from the building, the Square also comprises the National Theatre, National Concert Hall and a Chinese-style garden.
The front gate of the Liberty Square
The Memorial Hall is white with four sides. The roof is blue with red accents and octagonal, which symbolizes the number eight, a number traditionally associated in Asia with abundance and good fortune. The three colours echo the flag of the Republic of China.
The two sets of 89 steps in front of the Memorial Hall represent Chiang’s age of death and lead up to the main hall housing a large bronze statue of Chiang.
The view from up the stairs. In the distance and located inside Liberty Square, the building on the left is the National Theater (國家戲劇院) and the right building is the National Concert Hall (國家音樂廳). Felt like a scene from an ancient China dynasty-drama set. Maybe I’ve been watching too many Chinese tv-series lately.
Upon reaching the top of the stairs, you will see a large bronze statue of Chiang in the main hall.
The characters behind Chiang’s statue read “Ethics”, “Democracy” and “Science”. 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”.
Inside the hall, the national emblem of blue sky, white sun, and 12 sun rays are depicted on the ceiling of the hall, which is four stories in height.
Chiang’s statue is protected by military personnel which change hourly. The guard is a real human, not a statue, though he looks like one!
Take the elevator on the left side of the hall to lower levels. The ground level of the memorial houses a library and museum documenting Chiang’s life and career as well as exhibits related to Republic of China-era Chinese history, and Taiwan’s history and development.
The National Concert Hall and National Theatre are also located in the massive courtyard of Liberty Square. Completed in 1987, the halls framed the Square on the north and south, with Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall to the east. The twin performing arts venue host large-scale concerts and cultural events which are not limited to orchestras, dances, musicals, operas of both Chinese and Western, as well as concerts.
National Concert Hall (國家音樂廳). It is said that there is one of the largest pipe organ in Asia installed in the National Concert Hall.
National Theatre (國家戲劇院) also houses a Performing Arts Library and publication offices for Taiwan’s Performing Arts Review.
How to get to Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall:
By MRT: Take the Red Line or Green Line to Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall (中正紀念堂) Station
Address: No.21, Zhongshan S. Rd., Zhongzheng District, Taipei City
Opening Hours: Daily 9am – 6pm
More info: Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall