Zhongshan Hall

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Zhongshan Hall
中山堂
Taipei ZhongshanHall.jpg
The Zhongshan Hall facade
Former names Taipei City Hall
Alternative names Chungshan Hall
General information
Location Zhongzheng, Taipei, Taiwan
 Republic of China
Address No. 98, Yanping South Road
Zhongzheng District, Taipei City 10042
Taiwan
Current tenants Taipei City Government
Construction started November 23, 1932
Completed November 26, 1936
Technical details
Floor count 4
Floor area 113,750 square feet
Design and construction
Architect Ide Kaoru
Website
www.zsh.taipei.gov.tw (English)

Zhongshan Hall (Chinese: 中山堂; pinyin: Zhōngshān Táng) is a historical building which originally functioned as the Taipei City Hall. It is located at 98 Yanping South Road in the Ximending neighborhood of the Zhongzheng District, Taipei, Taiwan. In 1992, it was recognized by the government as a historic site.

History[edit]

As a tribute to mark the ascension of the Japanese Emperor Hirohito in 1928, the Japanese government in Taiwan dismantled the Qing Dynasty government office in Taipei and began the plan to erect the former Taipei City Hall.

Taipei City Hall construction began on November 23, 1932 and completed on November 26, 1936. Ide Kaoru, the main architect serving as Chief Engineer in Taiwan under the Japanese Government, used the full cost of 980,000 Yen and 94,500 workers.

The four-story steel structure of the building was designed to be fire-resistant and to withstand severe earthquakes and typhoons. The original building was faced in light green tile to make it less visible to aerial bombers. The windows are adorned with classical designs in a Spanish Islamic style.[1] With 44,179 square feet (4,104.4 m2) for the ground floor, the total area of the Taipei City Hall was 113,750 square feet (10,568 m2), making it the fourth largest City hall in Japan at that time. It was smaller than only the City Halls of Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya.

After Taiwan's Retrocession to the Republic of China in 1945 after World War II, the Chief of Taiwan Provincial Administrative Office, Chen Yi represented the Allies and accepted a formal surrender from the Japanese. The surrendering Japanese commander was Ando Rikichi, Japanese Governor of Taiwan. The former Taipei City Hall was renamed Zhongshan Hall in honor of Sun Yatsen and functioned as an official meeting place under the Chinese government.

Zhongshan Hall has always been one of the formal reception areas for welcoming foreign guests and diplomats. Former guests have included US President Richard Nixon, former Korean President Syngman Rhee, former President of South Vietnam Ngo Dinh Diem, former Philippine President Carlos P. Garcia, former Iranian Shan Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and others. Zhongshan Hall has also hosted memorial ceremonies such as the signing of the Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty and three formal inauguration ceremonies of the second, third, and fourth presidency and vice-presidency of the Republic of China.[2]

Current use[edit]

The hall has several auditoriums currently used for arts performances such as chamber and orchestral music, traditional Chinese music, voice/choir, opera, dance, ceremonies, and exhibits.

  • Zhongzheng Auditorium: This Grand Meeting Hall was the largest indoor meeting venue at the time, seating over 2,000 people since it was created on December 27, 1936. After World War II, it was the only concert hall in Taipei. Until Zhongshan Hall in Yang-Ming Shan was completed in 1993, the National Assembly leased this hall. It is historic as Chiang Kai-Shek announced he would take office again and held his inaugural ceremony here.
  • Guangfu Auditorium - The Grand Ballroom: Guangfu Auditorium is a two-story high rise hall with Islamic design and holds 500 people seated or 1,000 people unseated. This auditorium is historic as on October 25, 1945 it was the venue for the surrender ceremony of the Taiwan District of China warzone. The Japan and Taiwan governments signed the peace treaty here and the surrender of Japan was accepted here as well.
  • Fortress Auditorium: In addition to indoor meeting areas, Zhongshan Hall was designed with a spacious plaza for outdoor activities. Speakers can stand on the second floor east balcony when addressing the audience on the plaza. Chiang Kai-Shek made four inaugural speeches here.
  • Zhongshan Hall Square
  • Taipei Lecture Hall

Notable features[edit]

  • Dr. Sun Yat-Sen statue: In the plaza there is a bronze statue of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen that was sculpted by Pu Tien-Sheng. Mr. Pu used a picture of Dr. Sun making a speech in Nagasaki, Japan in 1924 as a model for the sculpture.
  • Feet-Washing Basin: The feet-washing basin was used by people to wash the dust off their feet before entering public places such as the Taipei Public Meeting Hall in the Japanese Occupational Era.
  • The Sculpture of Buffalos: Southern State (also known as The Sculpture of Buffalos) by Huang Tu-Shai is located on the central stairway between the second and third floor. The plaster relief was Huang's last work and is immense at 5.55 meters by 2.50 meters. It portrays the atmosphere of a southern state with tropical plants like bananas, Taiwanese buffalos, and naked cattle-herding children with their straw hats on.

Accessibility and transportation[edit]

By public transit, take Taipei Metro Ximen Station Exit No. 5 to access the hall. There is also an underground parking lot.

Gallery of images[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 25°02′35″N 121°30′36″E / 25.043148°N 121.510082°E / 25.043148; 121.510082