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The Memorials

The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

The first impression you get of the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial is that it is big, - very big!
When having only seen this monument on pictures, it almost hits you like a hammer, when you stand in front of it and realize how big it is.
The architecture is fantastic and very beautiful! This memorial is worthy of a great statesman or emperor!

You get a feeling, that it is actually far, far too big for such a small country like Taiwan, but when you realize that Chiang Kai-shek once was the president of China, - it all makes good sense.
He inherited the immense problem of gaining control of this huge country and transforming the total mess and disorder after the fall of the Quin imperial dynasty, to a modern, free, democratic, strong and prosperous nation, so that China again could function on equal terms with the rest of the world.
As history has shown us, the japanese did not quite agree to that idea, and invaded China unprovoked in 1931.
I guess that the Japanese had some sort of dream of creating their own Empire, - like the British.  Also another person, - Mao Tse-tung -, did not share Chiang-Kai-shek's idea of a democratic China.  Mao was obsessed by power, and was heavily backed by Stalin, who wanted to control the whole world.
Against two such giant egos and a million man big, modern and well trained Japanese army, nobody can win.
The forces against Chiang Kai-shek eventually became too big, and the support he got from the free world was too little and too late, and his dream of a free, democratic and prosperous China failed miserably, - but on Taiwan he, - and those that came after him -, had great success in making Taiwan democratic and free, - and indeed one of the richest countries in the world.

Seen in that light, it is fully justified to give Chiang Kai-shek a great and beautiful memorial, of the same magnitude as the mausoleum for Dr. Sun Yat Sen in Nanking.  Later, - when I find time -, I will submit pictures from a visit to the very impressive Sun Yat Sen mausoleum.

Chiang Kai-shek is not buried in his memorial, but his marble coffin is stored temporarily in a small temple on a hillside in the countryside.
This is because Chiang Kai-shek wished to be buried in Chinese soil, - but not until China becomes a free and democratic country.
When that time comes, his coffin will be taken to China, and he will be properly buried at his home place.
Let's hope the old General will soon find the peace he deserves - - - -

The huge arched gate leading to the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall
(Photography © Karsten Petersen)

The Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall seen through the main gate.
(Photography © Karsten Petersen)

The Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall
(Photography © Karsten Petersen)

The Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall
(Photography © Karsten Petersen)

89 steps, - one for each year Chiang Kai-shek lived -, leads up to the huge Memorial Hall
(Photography © Karsten Petersen)

The look through the huge door into the Memorial Hall.
(Photography © Karsten Petersen)

Here you can see how big the door to the Hall is, - it is 16 meters high, and each door part has a weight of 75 tons.
(Photography © Karsten Petersen)

- and of course it is guarded by soldiers from the "Honor Guard of R.O.C" -
(Photography © Karsten Petersen)

Another view into the Memorial Hall, - showing how big it is.
(Photography © Karsten Petersen)

And here is what it's all about, - President Chiang Kai-shek dressed in a traditional Chinese rope.
(Photography © Karsten Petersen)

Changing of the guard, - highly disciplined soldiers of the "Honor Guard of R.O.C"
(Photography © Karsten Petersen)

Soldier of the "Honor Guard of R.O.C"
(Photography © Karsten Petersen)

A view into the floor below the Memorial Hall.
Here are exhibited lots of historical material and artifacts from Chiang Kai-shek's life.
(Photography © Karsten Petersen)

There are paintings too, - some of them very big.
Here Chiang at some location in China.
(Photography © Karsten Petersen)

And here a painting of Sun Yat Sen and Chiang Kai-shek together.
(Photography © Karsten Petersen)

One of Chiang Kai-shek's cars.
(Photography © Karsten Petersen)

And another one - - a great classical American limousine.
(Photography © Karsten Peterse

There is even an original display of Chiang's old office.
(Photography © Karsten Petersen)

Furniture and things from Chiang's office.
(Photography © Karsten Petersen)

One of the huge paintings.
Guess that this one must be showing the great northern campaign.
(Photography © Karsten Petersen)

In the late twenties, when the Chinese army swept north in order to break the neck of the so-called warlords that had erected small independent "kingdoms" with their own, private armies and in some cases even their own money, and operating completely independent and without control of the central Chinese government.  Chiang Kai-shek put and end to that, - and I think that this is what the picture is all about.
(Photography © Karsten Petersen)

Outside again, with a view over "Liberty Square", and the National Theater and the National Concert Hall.
(Photography © Karsten Petersen)

Seen from outside, - the massive block that forms the Memorial hall.
(Photography © Karsten Petersen)

Seen from outside, - the massive block that forms the Memorial hall.
(Photography © Karsten Petersen)

A final look at this unique piece of architecture.
(Photography © Karsten Petersen)

And a final look at the "Honor Guard of R.O.C.", - saluting their old General.
(Photography © Karsten Petersen)

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Page initiated:  Jan.25.2013