National Revolutionary Martyrs' Shrine 國民革命忠烈祠 in Taipei is a shrine dedicated in honor and memory of the soldiers of the Republic of China, who died during the Xinhai revolution, World War II, Chinese Civil war and two Cold War Straits Crisis with People's Republic of China - all these events took place between 1911 and 1958. The shrine complex is a solemn place, but it's also open to visitors, so if you're interested in the history of Republic of China, you should visit the Martyrs' Shrine along with the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall and Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall.
History of the Martyrs' Shrine
Today's Taipei Martyrs' Shrine was built in 1969. It used to stand on the site of the former Taiwan Huguo Shrine 臺灣護國神社 (Huguo 護國 literally means "Protect the nation, country"). The shrine was built in 1942 during the war and was dedicated to soldiers, who died for the Japanese Empire, among them Taiwanese. After World War II and Taiwan's retrocession to Republic of China the temple was demolished and replaced with a Chinese shrine, but it was much smaller than the one of today.
Images of the Taiwan Huguo Shrine
Very few images of the Huguo Shrine are found online, I had to search some Taiwanese and Japanese forums to find the sources. Here are a few, that will give you an idea:
The Martyrs' Shrine today
Today's complex is one of best examples of neo-classical Chinese architecture in Taiwan and a huge tourist spot. The photos below are from my last visit in December 2012, but because the main gate was under renovation, I am using my wife's photos from July 2010 for that part. Since it was sunny in both cases, I believe that very few of you would've noticed, that the photos are two years apart.
These soldiers have to stand still for 1h hour, imagine that. No movements are allowed. They have someone, who wipes of the sweat from their faces on hot summer days. Every full hour there is a changing of the guards ceremony. The soldiers, who get the honor of being guards here need to meet some qualifications: No criminal history, at least a high school education, they have to be between 175cm - 195cm tall, weigh 65kg (± 1kg) and need to have a lot of discipline (source). As you can imagine, only the best of the best are eligible to guard one of the most important memorial places in Taiwan a.k.a. ROC.
If you want to see more photos of the Main hall and learn about the history, check:
• My photos of the Main Hall of Taipei's Martyrs' Shrine>>
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Map and useful information
▷ RELATED INFORMATION
• Pinyin: Guómín Gémìng Zhōngliècí
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▷ NEARBY SITES
• The Grand Hotel
• Zhongshan Building
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