Ketagalan Boulevard

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A view of Ketagalan Boulevard from the Presidential Building towards the East Gate (foreground): The prominent landmarks seen are the NTU Hospital (left), Taipei 101 (background), KMT former Headquarters (right), and ROC Foreign Ministry (far right). The route was lined with flags of the ROC and Kiribati during a state visit by President Anote Tong.
A view of Ketagalan Boulevard from the Gongyuan Road intersection towards the Presidential Building.

Ketagalan Boulevard (Chinese: 凱達格蘭大道; pinyin: Kǎidágélán Dàdào) is an arterial road in Zhongzheng District in Taipei, Taiwan, between the Presidential Building and the East Gate (東門). It is 400 metres (1,300 ft) long and has a total of ten lanes in both directions with no median.

History[edit]

The former name of this street is Chieh-shou Road (traditional Chinese: 介壽路; simplified Chinese: 介寿路; pinyin: Jièshòu Lù; Wade–Giles: Chieh-shou lu), Chieh-shou (介壽) meaning "Long live Chiang Kai-shek". On May 19, 1989 a pro-democracy activist named Chan I-hua performed self-immolation to protest the blocking of funeral procession of fellow activist Cheng Nan-jung. On 21 March 1996, when Chen Shui-bian was the mayor of Taipei, Chieh-shou Road was renamed Ketagalan Boulevard and the surrounding square was renamed Ketagalan Square in honor of the Ketagalan Taiwanese aborigines originally living in the Taipei area. However, Ketagalan Boulevard has been given other levels of political meaning and has even become the protesting holy land of opposing political parties.

Back when there was stern atmosphere in front of the Presidential Building, pedestrians had to pass by with their heads lowered. Motorcycles and bicycles were banned from Chieh-shou Road and a section of Chongqing South Road right in front of the Presidential Building. When Chieh-shou Road was renamed Ketagalan Boulevard, the traffic signs banning motorcycles and bicycles on Ketagalan Boulevard and Chongqing South Road were removed,[1] reminiscent of "lifting martial law" (解嚴). When renaming the road, it was announced that there was no disrespect intended to former President Chiang Kai-shek.

Ketagalan Boulevard and the area surrounding the Presidential Building and East Gate is a popular location for mass political rallies. For example, after the 2004 presidential election, supporters of the Pan-Blue Coalition not satisfied with the result of the election occupied Ketagalan Boulevard, protesting and parading for an entire week.

In the wake of the renaming of the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall to National Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall (國立臺灣民主紀念館) by the DPP administration, Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-pin proposed to rename the section of Ketagalan Boulevard between the Presidential Building and Gongyuan Road Anti-Corruption Democracy Square (反貪腐民主廣場) after the 2006 protests. However, there has not been any further debate about this name change since the renaming of the CKS Memorial Hall.

Landmarks[edit]

Ketagalan Boulevard is 400 meters long. Along the road are three buildings, two parks and two parking lots. Among them are:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Newsletter of President A-Bian, 21 February 2002, in Chinese

Coordinates: 25°02′22″N 121°30′55″E / 25.03944°N 121.51528°E / 25.03944; 121.51528