Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall
Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall (21 Zhongshan South Road 21, Taipei) – this shrine was built for the former ruler of modern-day Taiwan – who ran the country from 1928 to 1975 (when he passed away). Before World War II, he headed Chinese Nationalist Party, the KMT (in mainland China) and contended with Japanese aggression against his country. Chiang Kai-shek’s international status grew in World War II (when China joined the U.S. and British alliance against the Axis powers).
In 1946, civil war broke out between the KMT and the Communists. In 1949, the Communists were victorious, establishing the People’s Republic of China. Chiang and the remaining KMT forces fled to the island of Taiwan. There Chiang established an authoritarian (anti-Communist) government in exile which he led for the next 25 years. This government continued to be recognized by many countries as the legitimate government of China, and Taiwan controlled China’s seat in the United Nations until the end of Chiang’s life.
Note: there’s a changing of the guard at this shrine every hour. Admission: free. Hours: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm (daily).