This large shrine lies on Chingshan Mountain along the Keelung River. From Mono hostel, I will take you 45 minutes to get there.
The National Revolutionary Martyrs’ Shrine is home to around 390 000 ‘spirit tablets’ honouring the lives and sacrifices of the Kuomintang soldiers during the many wars that Taiwan fought including the Sino-Japanese War and the Chinese Civil War.
The bulky complex, built in 1969, is typical of the northern ‘palace style’ architecture popularised during Chiang Kai-shek’s reign. The arcade of the building speaks through paintings of tales about numerous battles. The site contains the main shrine, as well as several small exhibitions along the perimeter. A bell tower and a drum tower play a role during important ceremonies.
The front gate is guarded by active military personnel, and observing the changing of the honor guard at the top of every hour until 5 PM has become a popular attraction. Don’t miss it!
Every hour, the straight-faced and almost immovable soldiers change in a calculated, military fashion. Clad in blue uniforms, the guards march from the main sanctuary to the main gate with their bayoneted rifles and switch positions in complete synchronicity. The whole routine takes around 20 minutes, slow and perfect.
Most visitors will leave the area as soon as the guard changing is complete, but be sure to walk inside and explore the fascinating and beautiful Chinese architecture.