The gardens of the Shilin official Residence are the perfect place to spend a few hours in the neighborhood or to adjust to the time change after your flight!
This place has been the home of late Republic of China President Chiang Kai-shek located on Zhongshan North Road in Shilin District for 26 years.
During the Japanese Colonial era on Taiwan, it was the location of the Shilin Horticultural Experimental Station.
After the Republic of China lost the Chinese Civil War in 1949 and retreated to Taiwan, the property was requisitioned to the government and transformed into the residence of Chiang Kai-shek and Soong Mei-ling, and you can now visit it for 100 NT$.
Since 1996, the entire estate has been turned into a lovely public park open to the public and is a popular place for viewing the elaborate Chinese and Western style gardens. It has a romantic European feel, with rose beds and tree-lined paths, making it a popular place for taking wedding photographs. A long flight of steps offers a panoramic view of Qixing Mountain and is a favorite spot for couples.
Visitors interested in Taiwanese and Chinese history are highly encouraged to visit the Official Residence. The site includes the former home of Chiang Kai-shek and Soong Mei-ling, a two-storey western style mansion ; Madame Chiang Kai-shek’s former Cadillac limousine ; Chiang Kai-shek’s personal Victory Chapel ; and the Xinlan Pavilion which hosted Chiang’s birthday celebrations. It is said that he grounds contain a hidden tunnel that connects to the Presidential office in downtown Taipei…
Some interesting items within the residence include a large amount of imports from the United States, including multiple Magnavox-branded television sets, Bible-related artefacts, a large vinyl record collection, a projector in the small living room for entertaining guests… During its history, the residence home has hosted famous guests and foreign dignitaries visiting Taiwan.
Also on display is Soong Mei-ling’s large clothing and accessory collection (she was comparable in fashion sense to American first lady Jackie Kennedy), and access to her painting room (Madame Chiang’s Studio) where President Chiang often composed poetry to accompany her paintings.
Hours of operation are from Tuesday to Sunday, 9:30 AM to noon), and 1:30 PM to 5 PM.