Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

I don't know much about Chiang Kai-shek except that he was an important political and military figure in Taiwan, for five decades during the 20th century, and that public opinion of him remains divided: To some Taiwanese people, the former president of Taiwan is a hero for the civil war he waged against the Chinese Communist Party, and for defeating Japan in 1945; however, many others reportedly view him as a fraud who cared little about Taiwan or its people, a man responsible for martial law, graft, and political purges resulting in the deaths of many.

Either way, Taiwan wasted no time building a memorial in his honor. Construction of Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall began only 18 months after his death in 1975. It includes an impressive but modest collection of tributes, state items, photographs and revealing personal effects.

The main entrance, seen below in Tapei, includes two sets of stairs, each with 89 steps, representing the age at which Chiang Kai-shek passed away.


All 13 chapters of Sun Tzu's, The Art of War, and a portrait of Chiang Kai-shek, both carved into a small piece of ivory (maybe six inches by four inches).



Chiang Kai-shek's presidential sedan: 1972 Cadillac, which he used until his death in 1975.


Chiang Kai-shek's bulletproof 1955 Cadillac sedan, which is said to weigh three full tons.


One of two armed guards at the entrance of Memorial Hall, with bayonet and rifle. He was absolutely motionless except for the slight rise and fall of his chest while breathing.