Monday, March 21, 2011

Taiwan Travelogue: The Revolutionary Martyr's Shrine

The National Revolutionary Martyrs’ Shrine located in Taipei City has been built to honor the war dead of the Republic of China. What makes this interesting is that many of the people honored are not Taiwanese. Many of them are from Mainland China.

The Shrine was built to honor those killed in the establishment of the Republic of China. From 1912 until 1949, the Republic of China was the government of Mainland China. After the defeat of nationalist forces by the communists, the Republic of China government established itself on the island of Taiwan.

This shrine honors those who died during the Xinhai Revolution, [see Taiwanese History:  Double Tenth Day 10/2102010] The Northern Expedition, the Second Sino-Japanese War, the Chinese Civil War and both of the Taiwan Strait Crises. The shrine is an important historical site and sees many hundreds of visitors from Taiwan every month, as well as many tourists from Mainland China.

The Shrine was built in 1969 on the slopes of the Qing Mountain, overlooking the Keelung River near the Grand Hotel. It is surrounded 33,000 square meters of grassland. The shrine is a beautiful place. It has been designed with architecture similar to the Imperial palace in Beijing. The architecture represents a brave spirit.

Tablets that name the 330,000 people who died establishing the Republic of China are laid into the four walls of the main building. On September 3 of each year the President of the Republic of China leads the men and women of the Five Yuans or circles. (Which are the five branches of the Taiwanese government) to worship the men who are honored here. There are Revolutionary Martyrs' Shrines throughout Taiwan.  The Reoublic of China wants to remind its citizens of the sacrifice that created the nation.

Finally there is a changing of the guard approximately once an hour, that is similar to the changing of the guard at the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall. The Honor Guard marches with precision, drills with their rifles. The Honor Guard is trained to stand motionless and expressionless, with complete disregard for the actions of the visitors to the shrine.

The following video is a lengthy 9:55  but shows the guard change in its entirety at the main entrance station.  In addition to the changing of the guard, the video gives you a glimpse of changeable weather that is regularly found in Taiwan.

Still Photos by Brenda Banducci
You Tube Video by californiaengineer

Other posts you may be interested in:

Taiwanese History:  The Chiang Kai Shek Mausoleum
Taiwanese History:  Double Tenth Day
Taiwanese History:  The 2/28 Massacre

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