Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thursday's in Taiwan: Presidential Building

The Presidential Building is the White House of Taiwan. This is the place where the president of Taiwan works.  The Presidential Building was designed and built by the Japanese in the early 1900s.  Architecturally speaking, it is really a gem of the city.
Okay, honestly I don't know much about architecture. But, it really is something to walk through.

That's the building behind GeGe. 

Yep, me shaking the hand of President Ma.
Okay, it was a cutout.
It is not Asian looking at all. The one aspect that it is Asian is that the shape is two squares joined together. This may not sound "Asian", but this symbol looks like this:日, which is the first character for the country of Japan "ri ben".  Pretty cool, huh? Yeah, I thought so, too, which is why I think it is a gem.
Blueprints of the building.
You might not know this, but you can actually tour the Office.  They have "Partial Open House" which is Monday-Friday from 9am-12pm.  "Full Open House" tours are also available about once a month. The dates and times can be found here.  Oh, and the great thing is that both tours are FREE!

I went with my son's Cub Scout group a year ago or so.  It really was quite interesting and fun. Guides were posted around the small museum.  They were local Taipei students that told stories and facts about the construction of the building and the surrender of the Japanese during WWII.  Most of this is in Chinese, but there were a few that spoke English.  So, I advise you to take a Chinese speaking/reading friend along if you can't speak Chinese.  But, if you decide to go without a native speaker, I think it is still worth your time. Remember it is FREE! 

In one of the outer gardens.

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