Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas in Taiwan III - The Red House

In a previous post I slagged of Taipei for seemingly letting the Tianmu White House start to fall apart while claiming it's an important historic building. So today an example of a nice piece of restoration in Taipei - The Red House Theatre in Taipei's Xinmending area (10 Chengdu Road).

The Red House was built during the first Japanese occupation of Taiwan after the Treaty of Shimonoseki following the 1894-5 Sino-Japanese War. It was completed in 1908 and was designed by the architect Kondo Juro. Oringinally there were restaurants upstairs and shops selling luxury foreign goods - all owned by Japanese. There was also the Cross Building Market selling fruit and vegetables where many Taiwanese were shocked to find that Japanese customers didn't like haggling over prices.


After 1945 and the departure of the Japanese the Red House became a theatre. And now its been restored and when I visited today it was busy with curious Taiwanese out shopping who seemed to find the new collection of cafes, artists and small design shops far more interesting than the usual boring shopping mall. The second floor was closed of when I visited but apparently theatre performances are being staged there again. And as you can see there is a Christmas market going on too.

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