Monday 24 October 2011

Taipei Memorials

There are many meorials in Taipei, dedicated to the two most important figures in their modern history, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen (SYS) and Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek (CKS), despite neither of them being born here, SYS is buried in Nanjing, and CKS only buried in Taiwan until China and Taiwan are reunited (if that ever happens). Wandering the streets, and exploring by subway is really simple here so that's what took up most of my time visiting Taipei. The first was Sun Yat-Sen's 'house'. It's not one he actually lived in, like the one in Macau, but actually a Japanese style Inn he stayed in when he visited the Island of Formosa. There was also the SYS memorial, CKS Memorial building, 2-28 memorial museum and Presidential palace all to be visited in Taipei city, and the Official presidential residence just outside the centre.

Small but peaceful garden surrounding the house

It's a little known site, so there were not many visitors
The Sun Yat-Sen house is near to Taipei Main Station. Walk along the road from the Station towards zhongshan Temple. You should come accross it just as I did.

History of the republic of China

Sun Yat-Sen with Chiang Kai-Shek by his side

Laid out in exactly the same way as when Dr SYS visited

Sun Yat-Sen memorial and Taipei 101 in the background

The main man outside

The main man inside

The honour guards, which I thought were manequins

Before he fled to Taiwan he was a celebrated figure in Mainland China

Incase they join the circus after war has ended?

Primative warning techniques

The changing of the guard

This was so choreographed it was almost a dance

You can catch the changing of the guards at both SYS and CKS memorial halls every hour on the hour. The SYS hall is distinctly nicer to watch in hot weather as it is inside the air conditioned hall.

Gate of Intergrity in Liberty square

National Concert Hall

Gate of Integrity and Chiang Kai-Shek memorial in the background

The presidential building
Presidential building from another angle
The view from the front of the Presidential building. I got told off for taking this picture.

Unusual architechture of the Judicial Yuan

The 2-28 memorial museum
On the 28th February 1947, after a dispute between a tobacco vendor and a government officer the people of Taipei began a protest against the government, ignited by the tobacco murder case, but with wider greivences against what they saw of their government's nepotism and corruption. The KMT supressed the protests and uprising with a heavily violent hand and over three years inhabitants vanished, died or were imprisoned. This incident and its concequences were officially ignored and denied for decades (Tiananmen anyone?!), but in more recent times (1995) the then President broke the silence and publically acknowledged this period of Taiwan history. This lead to the building of memorials and establishment of commemorative ceremonies. Each martyr, or wrongly accusted victim was absolved of any crime and the President now officially recognised and pays his respects to those familys involved. The National 2-28 Memorial Museum is a small exhibition almost completely in Chinese, and I have only found out exactly what happened on the 28th Feb 1947 since leaving the museum. But it was still an interesting place to wander around and I did leave with a leaflet in English which gives some explaination of the exhibitions in English (perhaps a good idea to pick this up when you enter!). The 2-28 Museum is 10 minutes walk from the presidential building, walk along the front of the Presidential building, and carry on past the left side across the road. This street is called Chongqing Nan lu (south road).

Taiwan looks like a sweet potato

A place to experience imprisonment and a space for people to leave messages

The KMT flag and flag of the ROC

I gave a speech while I was there...ㅋㅋㅋ

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