Taipei's Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

America and other nations have monuments, but they pale in comparison to the massive memorials found in Taiwan.
 Similar to the Koreas (especially North Korea) and China, Taiwan has decided to show off its power by building very large buildings. Take, for example, the National Palace Museum I wrote about before - not only large to house the comprehensive collection, but also built magnificently to show how great Taiwan is.

Well, the same is true for this Memorial Hall and the buildings around it. In the photo above, maybe it doesn't look that large.
 But enlarge this photo and you'll see that the people at the base of the stairs are absolutely tiny in comparison.
 Inside, you'll find a melting clock statue. Well, perhaps not any more - it was a special exhibition in the enormous base.
 You probably want the elevators to the top, in these nice brushed and engraved metal doors.
 Arriving at the top, you'll find a statue which seems to take its design cues from the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC.
 The statue itself is quite large, and a lot of people come to see it and take pictures.
 Guards are always on duty protecting the monument; you can't get close to the base. You can see the guards change on a regular schedule. Chiang Kai-shek was the President of Taiwan and died in 1975; the memorial hall was opened five years later.
 Even the ceiling is nice, and it has the party's symbol "hidden" in the center. I discussed this symbol in my post about the 228 Memorial Park and Museum. The surrounding area, with its large open space, has been the site of demonstrations and gatherings, and with the change to a democracy the hall and area has been renamed and changed a little; the memorial hall was also dedicated to democracy and then rededicated back to Kai-shek.
 The National Concert Hall has a white facade on the roof, and is seen in this picture.
 Here is a view of the back of the National Concert Hall. It's certainly the most ornately-decorated building in the park. Across from the Concert Hall sits the National Theater, an equally monstrous building with a slightly simpler design.
 This is the Gate of Great Centrality and Perfect Uprightness, the main gate into what is now called Liberty Square. This view is from the east; the gate is on the west end so I'm looking west toward the afternoon sun and away from the Memorial Hall.
 I walked back from the Memorial Hall toward the Concert Hall. Along the north, east, and south sides is a meandering path that's a nice stroll if the weather is good. And, if you're a bride-to-be, there are some nice locations for some wedding photography. Or, perhaps this will end up in an advertisement or catalog. This beautiful young lady was sitting on a rock accompanied by a photographer and an assistant.
The north, east, and south sides of the park are lined by a nice wall; this "gate" is at the end of the wall behind the Concert Hall. Two other gates are found just north and south of the Memorial Hall.

The Memorial Hall is open from 9AM to 6PM every day, and admission is free. Special exhibitions might cost extra, but you can walk right up to the elevators to get to the hall itself. Note that you can not walk up the 89 steps in the front. MRT Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall Station is about a block south of the square.

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