What to do in Kaohsiung: Martyrs' Shrine, A Mirror of Time

January 6, 2020

It’s quiet here. We hear karaoke of old songs from the echoes of surrounding mountain common spaces. The plants and trees, the colors of red and blue and intricate carvings of symbols our eyes have become accustomed to seeing in our years in Taiwan. Kaohsiung City’s Martyrs’ Shrine is a great place to visit when traveling around the city. Not only the place itself, but the journey getting there is a flavor that you will not get from exploring the city below.

How to Get There

Kaohsiung City’s Martyr’s Shrine is located at the mountainside of Shoushan in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan. Since it is located on the southeast side of Shoushan, it is one of Kaohsiung’s scenic spots overlooking Kaohsiung Port, Gushan, Qijin and Kaohsiung City.

There are 3 ways to choose…

  • Bus– Take Bus 56 (does not operate on Mondays!) from Lover Viewing Platform (情人觀景台站) stop to Shoushan Martyr’s Shrine (高雄市壽山忠烈祠). The whole ride is about 20 minutes and will take you into the mountain side a bit. This will take you a short walks distance to Martyrs’ Shrine *We suggest to get off at Shoushan Zoo to take a little (20 min) hike and take in the beautiful greenery.
  • Taxi-Taiwan taxies are cheap…and fast…You can even order one at 7-11.
  • Scooter– Rent a scooter. Freedom.

What to Know Before You Go

A Little Background

Here is a great podcast by NPR Thoughtline to give you some thorough historical context before visiting.

There is a lot going on here…

Before it was Kaohsiung’s Marytrs’ Shrine, it was the Kaohsiung Shrine of the Japanese Empire. After the war, it was converted from the National Government into a loyal martyrdom of traditional Chinese palace-style architecture, enshrined in the spirit of the National Revolutionary Martyrs. This is a place of intersecting tributes.

As you walk into the building, you will see black and white photos lining the walls. Each one a human, a story or an event that happened within the turmoil of Taiwan’s past.

There is a Photo from 1937, when fleets of navel vessels arriving at the Yangtze Riverbank in Shanghai as the Woosang battle began.

There is a photo from 1945, when General He Ying chin represented my Chiang Kai Shek the supreme commander of the China war area, to accept the official surrender from the Japanese Military in China.

There are stories of men and women with conviction.

Martyrs’ Shrine also preserved some stone lantern remnants left by the shrines in the Japanese occupation.