Jan 8, 2009

National Theater and Concert Halls

A spot in Taiwan that I will introduce to foreign visitors is The National Theater and Concert Halls(兩廳院), which is one of the most important spots and famous sightseeing places.


The National Theater and Concert Halls are located in the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Park (中正紀念公園), if you face the great Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall , in the right way is the National Theater Hall by the Aiguo E. Rd., and in the left way is the National Concert Hall by the Xinyi Rd.

What’s special?

The National Theater Hall and National Concert Halls look like two great traditions of ancient Chinese Palaces. The roofs are paved with glazed tiles, and the tall colonnades are in bright, Chinese red. Their exterior appearances appropriately match that of the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall.
Some people always don’t know which one is the Concert Hall, and which one is the Theater Hall. Well, there is a tip---look at the roofs! The Theater Hall has a style of roof called “hip roof”, which is the highest class in traditional Chinese structures. And this style make the hall looks more noble and stable.
On the other side, the roof style of the Concert Hall is “gable and hip “, making the roof look like a mountain. Besides, it has two levels—a higher one and a lower one, so the Concert Hall looks more lively and energetic.

Their appearance look majestic, and their interior decorations look even more brilliant. The interior decorations are designed to be a blend of Chinese style with western style ingeniously. The ceiling was curved delicately into traditional Chinese patterns, while big, elegant crystal chandeliers sparkling from top. The paths are all covered with red carpet. Besides the two cream-colored marble stairs are the giant Chinese drum and the carved statue of ancient Chinese musician---showing the long Chinese history and culture. The concert hall has grand spaces; it totally has 2074 seats! And the biggest pipe organ (totally has 4712 pipes!) in Taiwan is also the special scene here. Last year (2007), the Concert Hall finished a special decoration--- “green wall”, lots of “living” plants grow on the wall, and are arranged into beautiful pictures, such as a shape of Taiwan on the wall! It’s really amazing and impressive. The Green Walls make the lobby look refreshed and makes this building look more modern. In contrast, the other side of the lobby’s wall is really old--- it is the first wet-fresco Masterpiece in Taiwan! All this gorgeous decorations make the National Theater and Concert Halls full of art-culture breathing!


The history of the National Theater and the National Concert Hall is as glamorous as the two buildings themselves. In 1975, ROC President Chiang Kai-Shek passed away. To commemorate him, the government decided to establish the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, the National Theater and the National Concert Hall. The Twin Halls were mainly designed by C.C.Yang, with a total construction cost of NT seven billion! The entire complex was christened the “NationalChiangKai-shekCulturalCenter”. When they were first built, few large arts complexes existed in Asia, and the Twin Halls truly aroused the attention of international arts circles.

How to get there

There are many bus stops around the buildings, like Routes 15, 18, 20, 22, 38, 70, 204, 274,275, 293 or 294. Get off at the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall Station or at the Xinyi Lisin Intersection station. You can also take the MRT station. Exit Gate 5 of the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall Station, on the Xindian, Nanshijiao or Xiao Nanmen Lines. If you drive by yourself, don’t worry, there are parking places in the Basement 1.


In my suggestion, you should take a one-day trip there. First, go visit the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall at about 9 or 10o’clock. This place is like a museum, and you will learn the history background at that time and Chiang Kai-shek’s life story. For lunch and dinner, you can go to Howard Gourmet Theater, which is located on the ground floor of the National Theater. After lunch, taking a walk with your friends and having a lovely picnic in its Chinese-style garden are the best choice. If you want to go shopping, there are many shops in the twin buildings, including NTCH Gift Shop and Eslite Bookstores Theater Live Store, etc. What’s more, you can make a reservation of “guide service” ,and a professional guider will lead you look around the Twin Halls with a detailed introduction. Finally, in the evening, you can go a concert and enjoy the bravo performance of NSO! It will be a well-arranged and wonderful day! :)



國立中正文化中心 http://www.ntch.edu.tw/

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