Tzuhu Presidential Mausoleum 慈湖陵寢
On our way to Snow Mountain we made a quick pit stop in Da Hsi 大溪, Tao Yuan County (just off Natl. Hwy #3) to check out Chiang’s resting place before/if he is moved. Lovely place. Gorgeous forest scenery, flowers and lakes. Well worth a stop.
Originally Chiang Kai Shek had a residence built by the lakes that he called Tzuhu(motherly love lake) as it reminded him of his hometown in Fenghua, China. When he died in 1975, his body was placed in a large black marble sarcophagus in the main hall in preparation to be shipped to Fenghua after reunification with mainland. As reunification has not yet materialized, he still lays in Tzuhu. There have been several attempts to move or bury Chiang, but so far nothing has happened.
The picture above is of a ceremonial guard in front of the mausoleum. When I was there I asked three different military police who were stationed there when Chiang Kai Shek died. Strangely, not one of them knew. They were all very helpful and apologetic that they couldn’t answer, though.
I think this would be a far cry from the mausoleums heyday. According to Wikipedia, before the late 90’s, people would line up for hours to gain entry to the park for a chance to pay homage to their former leader. When we were there, there were very few people and this was apparently normal.
What I was particularly eager to see was all the Chiang statues that are slowly filling up the park as they are being removed from military and public places. It’s pretty cool. Will try to go in a few more years when there are even more. Would love a statue on my land in (appropriately enough) San Ming. When I first came to Taiwan every room of every school had a picture of Chiang Kai Shek in the back and Sun Yat Sen in the front. That’s a lot of pictures. Where did they all go?