Taipei (Taiwan News)--Celebrating its 50th anniversary in past November, Yangmingshan Chungshan Hall on the Yangmingshan National Park opened the doors of three places that are otherwise closed to tourists and three secrets about former President Chiang Kai-shek were revealed.
November 12, 1966 was the 100th birthday of Sun Yat-sen, who is generally regarded as the founding father of the Republic of China.
According to Yangmingshan Chungshan Hall Management Office, a couple of years before the 100th anniversary of Sun’s birth, the then President of the ROC, Chiang Kai-shek, had the idea of building a memorial building in honor of Sun’s 100th birthday. To meet the deadline, Hsiu Tse-lan, the architect and designer of the building, had only 13 months to complete the construction work, which she achieved. The construction workers worked in three shifts and 24 hours a day, the management office said.
With total gross floor area of 18,129 square feet, Yangmingshan Chungshan Hall was built based on the art of Chinese palatial architecture. Built against the mountain and arranged by the slope, the exterior is magnificent and the interior is resplendent. It is regarded as one of the most famous and important neo-classical Chinese buildings in Taiwan.
After the building was completed, it served as the venue for the National Assembly until the assembly was defunct in 2005. It was also in the building that presidents and vice presidents of the country were elected until the first general election in 2000.
Some places such as the president’s resting room and Chinag’s and the first lady’s bedrooms, which are usually off limit to tourists, were open in November, and three interesting secrets regarding Chiang were revealed.
(Source: CNA fan club)
First, a toilet specially designed for Chiang and only used by him was an early version of auto-flushing equipment. The equipment has two toilets, with one a regular flushing toilet and the other for flushing and cleaning body.
Second, a war simulation room with four terrain models revealed Chiang’s dream of retaking Mainland China. The largest of the four models is a map of southeastern China and the neighboring areas including the Luzon Island in the Philippines and the contested South China Sea.
Third, Chiang and the first lady slept in different rooms. According to the management office, Chiang spent much time in the hall and the first lady usually followed him. But because Chiang turned in early and got up early while the first lady enjoyed night life, they didn’t sleep together so as not to disturb each other. In addition, they differed greatly in taste of color. Chiang’s room is red, which is a traditional color, while the first lady’s room is totally lake green from the carpets, sofas, and door drapes to bed clothing.
Yangmingshan Chungshan Hall is open Monday to Sunday, with four tours a day at 9:00 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3:00 p.m. It’s closed on electromechanical maintenance day, site rental day, National Holidays as well as scheduled closed days. General admission is NT$ 80 per adult and discount admission is NT$60.