Occupying an area of 7.618 hectares, 228 Peace Park sits at the heart of Taipei City bordering Gongyuan Road in the east, Huaining Street in the west, Ketagalan Boulevard in the south, and Xiangyang Road in the north with convenient transportation. Built in 1899, the park was formerly called Taipei Park. To soothe the biggest wound in Taiwan’s history and promote ethnic fusion, former Taipei City Mayor Shui-Bian Chen thus renamed it “228 Peace Park” while unveiling the 228 Peace Monument erected in the park on February 28, 1995.
Previously, the park was equipped with a children’s playground, a water fountain, a lotus pond, green shade, flower beds, tennis courts, and a baseball field for visitors to enjoy recreation and exercise. In response to the changes in times and landscaping needs, the green shade, tennis courts, and baseball field have been transformed into the octagonal kiosk, and the bronze statutes of ancient sages including Cheng-Gong Zheng, Ming-Chuan Liu¸ Feng-Chia Chiu, and Heng Lien were erected on each side of the water fountain in the garden. Other features in the park include the old locomotive (made in 1871 now located in the west of the main entrance on Guanqian Road; on its left stands Taiwan’s first steam locomotive Tenyun made in 1887), Jigonghaoyi (Anxious for Justice) Archway (located south of the open-air theater after being relocated from present-day Hengyang Road by the Japanese colonial government; it was originally built in 1888 in recognition of Âng Thîng-hûn’s deed of donating land for building the Taipei Prefecture Examination Hall around present-day Zhongzheng Precinct I to Qingdao East Road in 1880), Huang’s Filial Piety Memorial Archway (located east of the museum, built in 1882 in recognition of the filial piety of Huang on Dongmen Street, and relocated to the park in 1899), National Taiwan Museum (located in front of Guangqian Road, a two-story Doric order building built in 1913 on the previous site of Mazu (Heavenly Empress) Temple after demolition in 1905, the temple’s columns have become present-day seats in the Formosan sweet gum forest in the park), the dragon pond, carp pond, sundial, Confucius statue, open-air theater, peace sculptures, and peace bell to make the park more charming.
At the entrance on Hengyang Road stands the “228 Peace Memorial Park Chronicle” stone tablet. Along the central parkway there are azaleas everywhere, lawns, and golden dewdrops on the sides. The 228 Peace Monument stands right at the center of the park to remind people of the past and present in the company of the agreeable view. Formosa sweet gums are grown in the south of the parkway. Their leaves fall in winter and green leaves grow in spring to mark the seasonal changes. Flower beds grown with in-season flowers are arranged toward south leading to the Peace Bell Tower which symbolizes “liberty, peace, and never-ending life.” Next to the tower is a children’s playground and a green area with arbors, bushes, and vegetation to make the park greener. The 228 Memorial Museum sitting in the east has a wide collection of history for visitors to discover, remember, and mourn for the incident. In the north of the parkway there is the stele pavilion, water fountain, arch bridge, and flower beds. Plants grown in the area include Chinese ixora, croton bicolor, purple hook weed, azalea, bayan tree, green maple, China rose, etc., to present the beauty of floral diversity. 228 Peace Park has its historical significance. With a history of over 100 years, the park has experienced the Qing dynasty, Japanese colonization, and modern period to witness changes in times and people. In the park there are trees, flowers, and historical sites to inspire visitors to recollect the past and remember their childhood. When enjoying the beauty of the park, visitors should realize the park’s historical significance in order to work for a harmonious and unified society.