Pictures and Words by Li Yu-Qi
Translated by Cara Steenstra
Taichung city's cultural highlights are well known throughout Taiwan. The “ShuangXi District”is an art and cultural corridor that stretches from ShuangXi Road to the library and the Confucius Temple. Let us guide you through this culturally rich area, starting from the corner of JingWu Road and ShuangXi Road, where many schools are established and several cultural venues are situated as well.
First of all, on JingWu Road is the National Taichung Library, which is over 80 years old, with a rich collection of books. This May, Taiwan's first American Cultural Center Resource Service was established here, providing citizens with yet another very convenient service.
Turn down XuangXi Road and you will find WenYing Center. Wen Ying Center is Taiwan's earliest cultural center. Since its new reopening, there have been many exhibitions and activities held here. The new center has a "Traditional Arts Heritage and Development Center" on the second floor, the adjoining exhibition room also displays works of resident artists, increasing the popularity of Wen Ying center.
Opposite to Wen Ying Center is Taichung city's mayor's residence. This 80-year-old Baroque style building is now open to the public as a home for arts and culture. Its combined restaurant feature and arts and cultural activities make it a very popular destination for weekend visitors and holidaymakers.
Keep walking and you will pass the sports coliseum and reach DianTai Street. The Taichung Broadcasting Bureau building on DianTai Street is a historical monument as well as a broadcasting culture center. In the early days, it was where the BCC Radio was once situated, but is now a privately run audio museum. The rear building is now a European style restaurant named Forest 1935. The romantic lighting, great food and antique style furniture gives the place a wonderful atmosphere.
Following ShuangXi Road, turn right on LiXing Road and you will find the “Zhong Lie Shrine”, which was once a Japanese shrine during the occupation period. The bold Chinese characters written on the plaques decorating the front entrance give the place its serious atmosphere, and many people come here to pay respects to those who have sacrificed their lives for the revolution.
The main entrance to the Confucius Temple is on ShuangXi Road. This place used to be where the Air Force Academy's elementary school and teachers’ dormitories were situated. When the school was moved, this land was allocated as the new premises for the Confucius Temple. With an area of over 20,000 square meters, the building itself is very interesting, one of the few architectural models of Taiwan.
This section of the “ShuangXi District” might not cover a large area, but taking a stroll in the autumn sun in this area would give you a chance to learn more about the cultural heritage of Taichung and bask in it beauty.