Zhongshan Hall 中山堂
One of Taipei's most important historical buildings, Zhongshan Hall has been the site of many significant events since its completion in 1936. Today a museum and Grade 2 National Monument, the venue is a large complex in which visitors can explore a eclectic blend of architectural styles.
The complex is home to two large auditoriums: Zhongzheng Auditorium can seat more than 2,000 people and served as the venue for countless ceremonies, meetings, and cultural and artistic performances, and Guangfu Auditorium is a 2 story high banquet hall decorated with large mosaic artwork along the walls and Islamic-influenced window design.
Along the central staircase is a large bas-relief artwork titled South Land (or Water Buffalo), regarded as a masterpiece of modern Taiwanese art and sculpted by artist Huang Tu-shui.
Other interesting sites include the Fortress Room on the second floor (now housing a café), from which ROC ex-president Chiang Kai-shek gave his inaugural address, the president's temporary office on the first floor, fine tiling along the walls reminiscent of the 1930s design aesthetic, the Memorial and Square of Victory and Retrocession, as well as several galleries and showcases scattered around the building and surrounding park area.
Zhongshan Hall is located across the street from Ximending Youth Shopping District (西門町) and behind Party World Cashbox 錢櫃 KTV.
The grounds were originally used in 1889 by the Qing Dynasty as the Taiwan Provincial Administration Commission Office, later becoming the Republic of Formosa's Provisional Presidential Office after the Qing Dynasty forfeited Taiwan in 1895. Later that year, the Japanese assumed control of Taiwan and repurposed the building into the Governor-General's Office from which they announced their takeover of Taiwan. By 1919, the office was moved to a dedicated building, and to commemorate the accession of Emperor Hirohito in 1932, it was demolished and rebuilt as the current structure, completed in 1936 by the Obayashi Corporation (which also built the hydroelectric stations at Sun Moon Lake).
The official surrender of Japanese forces to the ROC was held in 1945 within the Guangfu Auditorium.
After the ROC government relocation to Taiwan in 1949, Zhongshan Hall became the seat of the National Assembly, the Legislative Yuan Chambers, and Taipei City Council Chambers.
The hall was also the location of the signing of the ROC-US Mutual Defence Treaty.
The hall was designed by Japanese architect Ide Kaoru, who also designed the (now renamed to) Taipei Jinan Presbyterian Church, Nanhai Academy Education Resource Hall, Taiwan High Court, National 228 Memorial Museum, National Taiwan University Library and College of Liberal Arts buildings.