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Martyrs' Shrine(桃園忠烈祠暨神社文化園區)

Updated:2020-07-22

Popularity: 6445

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 Taoyuan Martyrs' Shrine is situated on Hutou Mountain in Taoyuan City; it was completed in 1938 and was formerly the "Taoyuan Shinto Shrine" back during the Japanese colonial era. It is the best-preserved Japanese era Shinto shrine in Taiwan. The architectural style encompasses the old ways of the ancient Chinese Tang dynasty, Japanese style, and contemporary Taiwanese style. The building is constructed from top quality cypress wood. In 1994, it was officially listed as a level three national monument. The Shrine was also used as the filming location for the film "Kano", where the audience is transported back to the 1930s.
Back during the Japanese colonial era when Japan was promoting the Japanization movement in Taiwan, around 200 Shinto shrines were built throughout the island. Taoyuan Shinto Shrine was constructed during this period; it was decided at the time to build the shrine on the mountain where the view includes the city of Taoyuan to the southwest, as well as the Kaizhang Shengwang Temple in the city center to symbolize its protection over the people.
Following Japan's defeat in the war and the ending of Taiwan-Japan diplomatic relations, many Shinto shrines were faced with the fate of demolition and renovation as their number of worshipers dwindled. Taoyuan Shinto Shrine was renamed Taoyuan Martyrs' Shrine in 1950. Due to its Tang dynasty style architecture and the building material of high quality cypress, it was carefully preserved because of its cultural value, history, and art. It is currently the only Shinto shrine in Taiwan and outside of Japan which has been perfectly preserved.

Taoyuan Martyrs' Shrine has a complete range of buildings. The main clusters are the "main hall" where the spirit tablets are placed, the "worship hall" where worshipers come pay their respects, the "administration office" where the priest or management personnel complete their daily tasks, the "water room" for worshipers to wash their hands and gargle before they enter for worship. There is also the Torii Gate, Buddhist lantern, Komainu (guardian lions), brass horse sculpture, and the shrine Sandao (path). The materials used were cypress and fir, with their fine texture combined within a wooden framework which has been perfectly preserved. The beams were secured through grafting joints all painstakingly done manually by hand. Through all of which one can clearly see the detailed labor of the craftsmen and experience even more deeply the stately and solemn beauty of the Taoyuan Martyrs' Shrine.

Follow the terrain and take the steps next the Chenggong Road, you will see the straight Sandao (path) in front of the Shrine. The inner gate and the worship hall are connected by the Sandao which is connected all the way to Taoyuan Train Station. Old pine and evergreen trees are planted around the shrine, giving it an air of serenity. The atmosphere is one of verdant green with the beauty of the ancient times. In early spring when cherry blossoms bloom, the delicate pink petals bring a gentleness to its austere surroundings. In autumn, red maple leaves dot the front yard of the shrine and the parking area. Different seasons bring totally different sceneries. Pause for a brief moment on the steps in front of the worship hall and enjoy the view of the entire shrine from this vantage point. Experience the quiet surroundings closed off in greenery; it is a favorite destination for visitors to take photos and connect with nature.
 

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Facilities

  • Introductory Lecture
  • Bus Station
  • Toilet
  • Parking Lot

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