Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall
Formosa Vintage Cafe
Documenting Taiwan's hybrid social and cultural history is this delightful private collection of Lin Yu-fang, a former dentist turned...
National Theatre & Concert Hall
Located inside Liberty Plaza, the National Theatre and Concert Hall hosts large-scale concerts and cultural events including dances,...
Jinfeng Braised Meat Rice
This long-running place serves Taiwanese comfort food quick and cheap without fuss or atmosphere. Try the lǔròu fàn (魯肉飯; rice and meat...
21 Zhongshan S Rd · interesting places nearby
Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall information
This grandiose monument to authoritarian leader Chiang Kai-shek is a popular attraction, but don't let anyone convince you it's a great piece of architecture. Mocked for politically correct bad taste, the hall is a prime example of the so-called palace, or neo-classical style, favoured by CKS as a counterpoint to the Cultural Revolution's destruction of real classical culture in China.
Entrance to the main hall is made via a series of 88 steps (the age of Chiang when he died). Inside the cavernous hall is an artefact museum with Chiang's two Cadillacs, various documents and articles from daily life. The hourly changing of the honour guard is probably the most popular sight with most visitors.
In 2007, the park was renamed 'Liberty Plaza' in honour of Taiwan's long road to democracy, and for a time it was conceivable that the memorial itself would be renamed and the Chiang sculpture itself removed. That didn't happen, and the reasons (which will vary depending on who you ask) pretty much summarise where modern Taiwan is at both politically and socially.