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Taihoku Public Auditorium (Taipei Zhongshan Hall)

  • Date:2019-05-03
Taihoku Public Auditorium (Taipei Zhongshan Hall)

  • Chinese Name: 臺北公會堂 (中山堂)
  • Located At: Taipei City (Northern Taiwan)
  • Did You Know that… ?
  • Taihoku Public Auditorium was built in 1936 during the Japanese colonial period by Ide Kaoru (井手薰), the main architect serving as chief engineer in Taiwan then. This building was recognized as the largest and most important public hall of its time while also serving as the first convention and exhibition facility in Taiwan. 
  • Address: No. 98 Yangping S. Rd., Taipei, Taiwan (ROC)
  • Site 

The site of the hall was originally occupied by the office compound of the imperial Qing government's top representative in Taiwan, which was constructed in 1845. The compound was once used as the presidential office of the short-lived Republic of Formosa (臺灣民主國) by the republic's militia force for 10-some days in April 1895 towards the end of the First Sino-Japanese War. Around two months later, Japan began its fifty-year-long colonization of Taiwan from the day it took over the office compound.  


During the colonial period, public halls were places where members of the general public gathered. They could stage activities and learn about official information at the halls, making the halls similar in function to cultural centers nowadays built across Taiwan. However, they were primarily used as official facilities during the colonial period; thus, the buildings showed up at the districts where the colonial government had land development projects. 


Between 1895 and 1919, the office compound of the top Taiwan representative of the imperial Qing government had been used by the Japanese governor of Taiwan until the completion of a new governor office building, which now serves as the Presidential Office of the Republic of China (ROC). 


In 1931, the Japanese governor decided to dismantle part of the office compound for the construction of the Taihoku Public Auditorium to honor the ascension of Japanese Emperor Showa. He began tearing down the compound and moving part of the facility to the site of today's Taipei Botanical Garden and the site for Taipei Zoo at Yuanshan. The construction began in December of 1932 and was completed four years later.


In 1945, when Japan announced its unconditional surrender to the Allies, General Douglas MacArthur issued General Order No.1 instructing all Japanese troops to yield. ROC General Chen Yi (陳儀) was commissioned by the order to represent the Allies and accepted a formal surrender from Japanese Commander and Governor of Taiwan, Ando Rikichi (安藤利吉), at this auditorium. In the same year, it was renamed Taipei Zhongshan Hall (中山堂) after ROC Founding Father Dr. Sun Yat-sen (孫中山). 


On Oct. 21, 1946, ROC President Chiang Kai-shek (蔣中正) arrived in Taipei to attend the celebration of the first anniversary of Taiwan's retrocession at Zhongshan Hall. For many years, the hall served as the venue for holding national assembly meetings and ROC presidential and vice presidential inauguration ceremonies, and received many foreign guests and diplomats.  


In 1992, the ROC government recognized the hall as a municipal-level historical site. To rejuvenate this historical building, Department of Cultural Affairs of the Taipei City Government, the hall's overseer, added a coffee shop and a lecture hall to the building. Then earlier this year, the Ministry of Culture announced upgrading the hall to a national-level site, bringing the total number of such sites across Taiwan to 103.