Zhongshan Hall

Historic Building in Ximending & Wanhua

Image by Jui-Chi Chan Getty Images

This handsome four-storey building, constructed in 1936 for the coronation of Emperor Hirohito, is where the Japanese surrender ceremony was held in October 1945, and later where Chiang Kai-shek delivered public speeches from the terrace following his four 'reelections'. The 3rd-floor tearoom contains the masterwork Water Buffalo by Huang Tu-shui (1895–1930), the first Taiwanese artist to study in Japan.

Zhongshan Hall was one of the most modern buildings in Taiwan at the time it was built, and it blends modernist and Western classical styling. Note the filings on the bricks (custom-made by a kiln in Beitou): the design scatters direct sunlight, making the building difficult for enemy bombers to see (a concern as Japan had been skirmishing with China since 1931).

The hall is frequently used for performances, and you can explore the inside at any time.