This memorial hall is actually surrounded by a pretty large park with unexpected open space. On weekends, when the weather is nice, you can count on seeing lots of people hanging out and enjoying this open public space. I remember my days as a high school student at a school near by – we came to practice our dance routines after school regularly. (yes, you heard me, ‘dance’).
The monument itself is quite a grand structure. The very top level houses this ‘Lincoln-esque’ statue with a elaborate dome. Below it, there are 3 levels of exhibition, showcasing the achievements and displaying photos from important historical moments.
To our surprise, we found out that there is a changing of the guards ceremony every hour, on the hour. 2 guards always stand at the entrance of this space. They stand VERY still for the whole time of their shift, until the next shift come on.
Getting on to the shift is about as elaborate of a process as getting off. While it was entertaining and impressive to look at their routines, I can’t help but be glad that I didn’t have their job.
As part of this park, National Theater and National Concert Hall (the 2 traditional large buildings in the picture with traditional flair) also draw large crowds to the space.
This place is really an unexpected oasis in a busy city, such is Taipei.