Sunday, 3 November 2013

National Taiwan Museum

National Taiwan Museum is the oldest museum in Taiwan. In 1909 the Japanese rulers wanted to celebrate opening of the North-South railway line by opening a museum. In 1915 The main building of the museum was completed in area that is now called "228 Peace Park". It still is an outstanding building. Japanese architect Ichiro Nomura designed the building in classical Greek style. The front entrance looks like a Greek temple with typical steps, pillars and flower and leaf patterns.
National Taiwan Museum

Behind the Museum main building is a nice public park, 228 Peace Park, 二二八和平紀念公園. The park is in the memory of the 28 February 1947 incident, a violent event that deepened the division of the political landscape of Taiwan.
228 Peace Park

You cannot avoid these creatures in the Peace Park. They are tame. I freaked out when one of them came and touched my feet from behind.
Squirrel in the Peace Park

The museum has large collections of geological history and of biodiversity. I am not interested in algae and minerals. What impressed me more were some of the objects in the ethnic collection. This strange hat was used in the Orchid Island (Ponso no Tao) by Tao-people, who gave headache for the Japanese occupiers, because the Tao simply ignored them.
Orchid Island hat

Another interesting section in the museum is the collection of stunning dresses, qipaos, through time.
Taiwanese dresses through time

The central hall is the architectural highlight of the building.
National Museum interior

National Museum Central hall

Truly beautiful
National Museum stairs

The dome's ceiling
Central hall ceiling

The other building of the museum is located just opposite the main building. It is Landis Bank Exhibition hall, with its dinosaur collection and bank museum. Land Bank Exhibition Hall

Dinosaurs are here:
Bony giant



The Landisbank bank museum is small, but worth visiting. Most of the tourists, like this one, are confused because of the language barrier. I tried to explain him details of the banking history and methods.

I explained him for example, how this map illustrates the political and economical influence of Japan before the end of the second world war.
Japanese influence before 1945

This is a detail of the map describing the commercial contacts of Taiwan in the first half of the last century. Taiwan was trading with all corners of the world.
Detail of Taiwan trade map during Japanese rule

Next article is about my other home, Luxembourg. It will be published soon.

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