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Thursday, December 01, 2011

Taipei, Taiwan Trip 2011 [Metro Red Line]

CKS Memorial Hall MRT Station Exit - Extraordinary isn't?
These are the various places I visited with my hubby in Taipei.  These places are accessible with Taipei Metro Red Line [Tamsui Line].
1.  Danshui Old Street - Take Tamsui Line to MRT Danshui station - please refer my posting on Danshui Old Street
2.  National Palace Museum - Take Tamsui Line to MRT Shihlin Station then take Shuttle Bus Red 30 to venue.
Shihlin Bus Station to National Palace Museum

Great View of the National Palace Museum
National Palace Museum - Maintenance Work Going on
Often named as one of the four greatest museums in the world, the National Palace Museum not only preserves century old art and culture but also engages in cultural exchange with foreign museums to become a modern and 'fashionable' museum.  The museum collection consists of more than 600,000 court treasures from the Song, Yuan Ming and Qing Dynasties.  Among the most popular artifacts are the Jadeite Cabbage and Meat Shaped Stone.
3.  Taipei Confucius Temple, Boa'an Temple and 44 Kan Street - Take Tamsui Line to Yuanshan Station and walk a short distance to venue. 
The Dacheng Hall, meaning "Great Achievement" is the main building of Confucius Temple.  The name comes from Hui emperor [Zhao Ji] of the Song Dynasty who once praised Confucius as "the great sage of outstanding achievements".  On the ridge of the Hall, there is a 7 storey pagoda in the middle, used to suppress evils, a cylinder like object sits at both ends, known as Tong Tian Pillars and 72 clay owls adorn the roof ridge, representing accomplishment of Confucius' teaching philosophy - Education for All.  All these decorations are unique to Confucius Temple.
The Dacheng Hall, Confucius Temple
The Tablet of Confucius
The Tablet of Confucius is placed in the sanctuary in the middle of the Dacheng Hall.  The black tablet on which President Chiang Kai-shek wrote in gold: "Education for All" is hung on the upper beam.  While in the middle there is a tablet on which our President Ma Ying-jeou wrote in 2008" "Gracious virtue in Confucius' teachings".  On the left and right walls are the shrines of Fu Saint, Yenzi, Shu Saint, Zisi Zi, Zong Saint, Zengzi, the Lesser Sage Mencius and the 12 philosophers.

In the ceiling above the hall is an octagonal platform and there are 24 brackets concentrated in the center.  After 4 layers of eaves brackets, there are only 16 brackets left to the top in a radiation shape, a very magnificent work.  In the 4 corners of the platform, there are carvings of 4 bats - 4 bats in Chinese is a homonym for 'giving fortune'.
East and West side buidlings are symmetrically located on either side of Dacheng Hall.  With lower roofs, they are like the side rooms of an ancient house.  These 2 side buildings together with the Dacheng Hall and the Yi Gate form the central part of the Confucius temple.  The rows of pillars in the corridor are carved in a simple style with no inscription nor scroll, giving a strong sense of rythm.

The Yong Bell and Jin Drum are placed next to each side of the gate.  These are musical instruments used in Confucius ceremony, making sounds of auspiciousness and peacefulness.
The Yong Bell
Dalongdong Bao'an Temple, Taipei
Bao'an Temple is known for its exquisite carvings, ranging from wood scupltures, colorful drawings, clay sculptures, stone carvings, Koji potteries to cut and pastes.  The installation arts found in the temple are highly educational as they contain so many historical, literary and mythological references.
Address - 61 Hami Street, Taipei City
Sanchuan Hall [above] - The stone walls on both sides of Sanchuan Hall also known as the Entrance Hall are covered with stone-carved dragons and tigers.  In front of the hall are life like dragons coiling around stone columns, which were completed between the 9th and 10th years of Jiaqing Era in the Qing Dynasty [1804-1805].
East and West Rooms guarding both sides of the main hall have doubled eaved roofs.  The quadrangle bell and drum tower on the rooftop differ from the usual hexagonal attic rooms.
Most people pray for good health at the Bao'an Temple respectively to Baosheng Dadi [aka Baosheng Emperor], a god of Chinese medicine and Shennong Dadi [aka Shennong Emperor] a god of herbal medicine. The temple has its history dated back to 1742 [Qianlong Era in the Qing Dynasty] and has gone through 4 restoration.  In 2003, the temple has won the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards for Culture Heritage Conservation.
Linsheng Garden Entrance
The chinese style garden built by Bao'an Temple was named 'Linsheng Garden' for its immediate proximity to the Taipei Confucius Temple.  The ponds, flowers, trees and trails in the garden provide local residents with a quiet, relaxing space for community activities.
Linsheng Garden
One of the building at the end of 44 Kan Street, Taipei
4.  Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall - Take Tamsui Line to CKS Memorial Hall Station.  The station exit is beautiful with the same architecture with CKS Memorial Hall.  Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall was built to commemorate late President Chiang Kai-shek.  Surrounded by a large Chinese-style park and a huge plaza the iconic hall has white marble walls and a roof with blue glazed tiles.  On the three floors inside, visitors can see a large bronze statue of a sitting Chiang Kai-shek and check out the exhibition area with historic documents, photographs and films.  On two sides of the large plaza in front of the memorial hall are the National Theater and the National Concert Hall, two great venues for the performing arts regularly featuring famous artists from Taiwan and abroad.

Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall 
National Theater and Concert Hall -
100 years Independence Day Performance
5.  National Museum of History,Taipei - Nearby to CKS Memorial Hall.  Just have to walk a distance,  Check the opening hours before going there.

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