TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The highest cultural landmark in Taiwan, the 1913 Antique Office of Alishan House-Local Cultural Building, opened its doors Aug. 15.
The building was constructed as a guesthouse in 1913 under Japanese rule and housed several visiting heads of state and important diplomats, according to CNA. Even after the Japanese left Taiwan in 1945, the guest house continued to accommodate visiting politicians, celebrities, and cultural figures.
Originally the site was comprised of three buildings: the main guest house, living quarters for Taiwanese workers, and a smaller housing unit for staff lumberjacks. The fire left only the main guest house standing.
Architecture and cultural artifacts from two hundred years ago have been preserved and are now on display for visitors to enjoy. There is also a Japanese-style coffee room and model of the Alishan railroad, which was also first built under Japanese rule.
The Antique Office is the 14th cultural landmark on Alishan.
Taiwan's late president Chiang Kai-shek also stayed in this guesthouse. The office even hired a Chiang Kai-shek look-alike to roam the grounds in a tunic suit during the opening ceremony.