• Shona McCarthy

Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, Taiwan

Growing up, I was told many horror stories about what it was like for Chinese Christians like my mother, Aunt and Grandparents to grow up in China during the Cultural Revolution. So, when I learnt that there was a leader who opposed Mao's regime, and that there was a monument dedicated to him in Taiwan, I naturally wanted to visit it.

That morning the boyfriend I had at the time and I went to a McDonald's not far from the Hall for breakfast. I remember it was distinct since there was blueberry pancakes there. Then we walked over to the hall itself.

Here are some of the sights I saw as we reached the place:

(The outer perimeter of the hall is so distinct a beautiful to begin with. 2014.) I remember being thrilled at seeing the insides of the roofs. Photographs of traditional Asian architecture tend to only show the outside of the roof. So this was my first time seeing the inside.

(Pictures of the roofs in Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall. I had seen Asian architecture before. But this was my first time seeing anything so ornate and palatial. 2014.)

I realise that my penchant for traditional architecture is kind of eclipsing the historical significance of the place. But I know what I like, and I can't really help it.

(Note the way both the inner and outer parts of the buildings contrast and compliment each other at the same time, from the largest eaves to the smallest frames. 2014.)

Even if you have no idea who Chiang Kai-Shek is, this is a wonderful place to look at. The scale and gradieur are exceptional.

(The halls are also surrounded by beautiful gardens. But I deleted those photos after I broke up with that boyfriend. Oh well. 2014.)

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