Saturday, August 25, 2012

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Sun Yat-sen Memorial House and Yixian Park, Taipei

8/25/2012 Taiwan Explorer

The Sun Yat-sen Memorial House 國父史蹟紀念館 is a small wooden house from the Japanese times located inside the Yixian Park 逸仙公園, which is basically its surrounding Japanese garden. Both are located a good 5 minutes away from the Taipei Main Station. The house, which used to be a small hotel, was built in 1900 and was called Ume Yashiki 梅屋敷 (Chinese Méiūfū), lit. "Plum House". The house became famous, because Sun Yat-sen, the founder of the Republic of China, stayed here during his visit of Taiwan in 1913 (all together he visited Taiwan four times, in 1900 for 44 days, which was his longest stay and later in 1913, 1918 and 1924, where he only stayed briefly in the port of Keelung. He died a year after. After World War II, this house and garden were dedicated to memorize Sun Yat-sen. In 1983 the Taiwan Railways begun to construct a tunnel, that would relocate the railways underground. The house and garden had to be relocated 50m north of its original spot. The house was in place the same year, while the Yixian Park was completely restored in 1987 (source). This small bit of 20th century history was hidden from me for a long time, I discovered the house and the park by accident. I'm happy I did, because it's a beautiful place, that definitely waits to be discovered.

Here are some of my photos from 2011:

The entrance gate.

The statue of Dr. Sun.

A wall is surrounding the park.

A peek into the garden.

The Sun Yat-sen Memorial House.

The park with the view on the Shin Kong Life Tower.

A solitary bird.

What's the deal with standing on a stone?

A lovely pavilion.

The pond.

A white koi fish.

A close look exposed a shocking truth: The pond is populated by idle water striders.

The memorial house caught our interest.

The stilts made the house look like a wooden centipede.

We went in, but taking photos was prohibited. There were various historic documents related to Sun Yat-sen on display. To see what's inside, check out the photos on this blog.

Another view on the pond and pavilion.

The walk out.

Au revoir, memorial park!

In conclusion

To visit the park, exit at the eastern gate of Taipei's Main Station. A short walk and you'll be reaching the park. There was no admission fee, when we visited and the park's opening hours were from 9 to 17 every day except Monday, when it's closed for visitors. More information regarding visiting hours here (in Chinese).