The Neihu Guo Ziyi Memorial Hall

  • 03 June, 2018
  • jvantrieste
Time Traveler

On the side of the road in Taipei’s Neihu District, there’s a portal that takes those in the know a century back in time. A brick arch and a plaque mark the entrance, but for people passing by in a hurry, the place is easy to miss. If you pass through and follow a twisting wooden staircase up a steep hillside, you’ll find yourself behind a stand of trees, in a place secluded from the city below. The path ends at a fine brick building that just celebrated its centenary last year. This is the Guo Ziyi Memorial Hall, an elite residence from the early 20th century where a local family of means and influence once lived. Today, it is still a place of reverence for the family’s many descendants and relations. The hall is a charming kind of place, even in the summer heat. Banana trees and vegetable plots grow in front and a forested hill rises behind. But the beauty of the site and the building’s own architectural flourishes bely how run-down and overgrown the property was for decades. This week, we’re visiting this memorial, ancestral home of Neihu’s Guo family, admiring the success of a cultural heritage rescue project that’s helped the building survive past the 100 year mark.