Monday, September 10, 2012

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Bank of Taiwan Head Office, Taipei

9/10/2012 Taiwan Explorer
A little bit of Greece in the center of Taipei


The Bank of Taiwan 臺灣銀行 is one of the biggest national banks in Taiwan. The bank itself was established in 1897 and was the central bank in Taiwan for the Japanese colonialists. After World War II it became very important for the KMT government, who fled to Taiwan. It was this bank, that issued the New Taiwan Dollar and stabilized the post war financial situation. The building itself dates back to 1939 and was designed by Nishimura Yoshitoki 西村好時, who designed several banks in Japan in that time. His style is known for taking elements of classical Greek architecture and incorporating them in his a solid, lasting yet cold style with little ornamentation. The remarkable thing about this building is its location: It was built right next to the former Governor-General's Office (today's Presidential Palace), which signified the importance of the bank for the Japanese colonial government in Taiwan. A similar building was constructed in Shanghai in 1924, it was the Bank of Taiwan branch, see a photo here. The building houses today the China Merchant's Bank. Check my information source with historic photos here.

These are some of my photos from August 2012:

The newer wing.

You have to read the characters from right to left.

The old building from 1939.

Lots of plants for a warmer atmosphere.

Looks like a Doric column, but much simpler.

The front side of the building, eastern facade.

A closeup on the columns.

The ROC flag.

The main entrance.

A view on the Presidential Palace.

The front part again.

The whole building taken from the opposite side.

The small roof was added after the allied bombing destroyed the old one.

Finding the bank is not that hard: Exit at the Main Station, cross the street to Shin Kong Life Tower and keep walking along Chongqing South Road for about 15 minutes. You will see the bank on your right.


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Map and useful information

▷ RELATED INFORMATION

Ningnuo Pinyin: Táiwān Ínháng
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My useful tips: Transportation in Taipei

▷ RELATED POSTS

• Taiwan Cooperative Bank
• Land Bank of Taiwan
• Central Bank of the Republic of China

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