February 27, 2010

Changing Guards at Taipei Martyrs’ Shrine

It was a gorgeous blue sky day with a pleasant climate. On the way back from Nei Hu, we decided to visit the Martyrs’ Shrine and nearby scenery. The Martyrs’ Shrine in Taipei is a magnificent Chinese architecture with the look of the Hall of Supreme Harmony in Beijing's Forbidden City. It has a well maintained environment and a quiet and solemn atmosphere. Of course, we won’t miss the famous honor guard changing ceremony that takes place every hour!

Martyrs’ Shrine was built in 1969 on a beautiful hillside of Qing Mountain, overseeing the Keelung River. It covers 33,000 square meters of grass field. It offers free admission.

The shrine is dedicated to the 390,000 soldiers killed in the service of their country during the War of Resistance against Japan and Chinese Civil War.

Here is the inside of the main hall. We were told not to go in, but photography is allowed. The President leads the staff conducting a public worship in the spring and autumn of each year inside this hall.

Here is the back of the Shrine along with the beautiful mountain. It is planned to expand the Shrine in this mountain side in the near future.

Walking along the square hall ways, we stood and paid our respect to statues of those who gave their lives for the nation and read his/her life story under this magnificent Chinese architecture building.

Two military soldiers guard the main entrance to the Shrine, and two other guards the main gate.

I would like to elaborate these soldiers who have rigidly trained to stand as the expressionless wax statues. The weather was pleasant; however, with an hour standing under the direct sun, anyone could still sweat. Next to the on-duty solider, there is always an off-duty solider nearby who wears white shirt, black pants and black tie. He sprayed water to the soldier’s face with a spray bottle to reduce his heat and sweating. I saw that scene from distance, was not able to capture with my camera!

A tourist stared the solider in the face to see if he would blink, I thought that was quite funny. The solider remained still and showed no expression on his face.

Another highlight of the Shrine is the changing guard ceremony. With the rigid standing like that, soldier takes turn in every hour.

You can see on the pictures that the white uniform Navy honor soldiers were ready to exchange with the Air Force honor soldiers who wear blue uniforms with white belts and Army honor soldier with yellow belt.

The ceremony takes place in the beginning of each hour. It attracts lots of tourists. It begins at 9:00am, and ends at 4:40pm.

We surely enjoyed the visit. This is a great place to learn some history and features of traditional Chinese architecture. The honor guard changing sparks a special event, definitely worth to visit!

PS: Happy Lantern Festival ! Please also see the previous post about how the Sky Lanterns are released on January 15 of the Lunar New Year! Read More


Rafael Lam said...

Magnificent Chinese architecture and really like Beijing's Forbidden City!
Good shots of the Martyrs’ Shrine guards!

Cecil Lee said...

The same scene could be seen many places around the world like our Royal Palace in KL and the Buckingham Palace of London. I think the wax statues liked wardens represent the supremacy of the local authority. Nice capture though! :)

shloke said...

Guard changing ceremony for every hour? That's AWESOME! The big red pillars and ornate roofs caught my attention. Really beautiful!

I definitely LOVE the series of pictures showing the harmonious and discipline steps.


fufu said...

i was there 5yrs ago... how time flies... it still look gorgeous =p wondering if the public pub service got improved? i remember... my friend and i waited quite a long time for the bus back to the downtown >< anyway i miss taiwan!!

micki and kristen said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
micki and kristen said...

To Rafael- Thanks! Glad you enjoy the shots of the guards.

To Cecil- Those honor guards are super well trained and disciplined!

To Mylo- Yeap! In the beginning of every hour, a short ceremony is conducted. It was quite interesting that I also saw tourists were following their steps, tried to walk as the guards walk.

To Fufu-. We took the bus from Nei Hu to the Shrine, it was about 5 minutes wait for the bus, and then we walk to the nearest metro station after the visit to return to Xi Men. I noticed that there are many buses to the Shrine. We did not experience the long wait this time. My experience is that the public transportation system and the traffic have improved sharply, can’t compare to the traffic when I grew up in Taipei :)

Zhu said...

Lovely pictures! The first one is truly majestic. It reminds me of the Forbidden City in Beijing (note that I only know China, never been to Taiwan, so I hope I'm not being politically insensitive!)

I like seeing the change of the guards in Canada too. It takes place in front of the WWI monument.

lechua said...

aah interesting... the only changing of guards i've seen is the one at Buckingham Palace in london.

Anonymous said...

Only 1969?
I thought it was built in the 18th century!!

I have to say the changing of guards ceremony in London is more showy. Maybe it's because of their bright uniforms! Did you know that their hats are made from bearskins?!?

Re: Chinese New Year in London / 伦敦的春节 / Tahun Baru Cina di London / ロンドンのお正月

I can't believe you actually got tigers toys I posted online. Ha ha... Those people were charging others at a premium since they got the toys from Asia and it was after the actual New Year.

In Malaysia, everything after New Year, eg New Year cakes, mandarin oranges are cheap... Ha ha... I guess it's the same in Taiwan.

micki and kristen said...

To Zhu- Thanks! Would like to see the ones in Canada too~~

To Lechua- I have been to a several countries in Europe, but not England yet, so would definitely like to see the famous one in Buckingham Palace.

To Londoncaller- Post some pictures of the changing guards from London, and that would definitely be an interesting post to see and to learn. Yeap, those tigers picture was posted for the “Gong Xi Fa Cai” article- the last image of that post. After the holidays, items may go back to their regular prices; I guess this applies to all places in the world :)

Zhu said...

Here are a couple of pics:

- Changing guards in Tiananmen (China) : http://www.flickr.com/photos/xiaozhuli/2845052906/

- In Ottawa, at the war museum: http://www.flickr.com/photos/xiaozhuli/3834469517/



Do you like the Scottish skirt? :-D

micki and kristen said...

To Zhu- Thank you so much for sharing all these great pictures! Beautiful uniform of the guards’ in Ottawa! I like their hats! Thanks goodness the weather for July in Ottawa must be dry, or those guards would be sweating heavily under their furry hats.
I like the Scottish skirts since they are the tradition uniforms. Ha! I thought that was a bit weird when I first saw men wear skirts.

I have been to Bejing twice. The first time I was there that was about 7 years ago. I did see one of the guards in the Tiananmen Square who was actually arranging his uniform in front of the publics while he was on-duty which did not leave me a good impression. However, it must have changed by now especially after the Olympic game. China is changing too fast.
Thanks again for sharing all these great pictures! :o)

Anonymous said...

I've got a lot of pictures to share with you guys. Please bear with me...
Actually, it's very similar to Zhu's photos in her links.
What can I say? Canadian is part of Britain! Ha ha... Hence, we have the same uniforms.

Guess what? I actually did my first degree in Scotland, upon graduation I hired a complete set of kilt (Scottish skirt) for my graduation ceremony! Ha ha...
I really miss my bonnie Scotland!

Re: Natural Refrigerator / 天然的冰箱 / Peti Sejuk Semula Jadi / 天然の冷蔵庫

The only cave I remembered was St Michael's Cave in Gibraltar.
Cause I went to to see a concert. ;-)

micki and kristen said...

To Londoncaller- Great! look forward to seeing your photos of changing guards from London, and your Scottish Skirt for your graduation!

Gillion said...

Have you tried dumplings and roast ducks? They are the famous and traditional Beijing dieshes. And also bird's nest soup? Its a delicacy in China.

Enjoy your days~~~


micki and kristen said...

@Gillion- I had dumpling and raost duck in Bejing. The bird's nest soup is a bit too expensive for me, but I did try one before, and it tasted yummy.

Security Guards said...

To Londoncaller- Great! look forward to seeing your photos of changing guards from London, and your Scottish Skirt for your graduation! :)
national security services

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