Photo of USTDC courtesy of Les Duffin

Monday, October 6, 2008

Chungshan Bridge Postcards

I sometimes poke around eBay for Taipei-related items and often find something interesting. My wife would probably say that I've found way too much interesting stuff over the years!

I found the second postcard of the Chungshan bridge in today's listings. You can see the Grand Hotel in the background in that one. Jim Sartor then tipped me off to the first photo, which was obviously taken many years earlier and there's no Grand Hotel. I think both were probably taken somewhere near where the entrance to USTDC used to be.

By the way, according to this website, the Grand Hotel rates 4-stars on a 5-star scale these days, but it's still a whole lot better than where I stayed when I first arrived in Taipei. There's also a rate table for the Grand and considering its upscale status, they don't appear to be all that unreasonable to me.

According to this article on Wikipedia, the hotel was originally built in 1953, but the version shown in the postcard was completed on 10/10/1973.


George said...

Funny how in the second postcard with the Hotel in the background, the bridge actually looks quite modern. Without the old lamp posts as in the older photos the single arch design looks quite good. Another thing, I'm wondering why this wasn't a target during WWII as it seems to have been the main road going north from Taipei. Seem to remember pill boxes on the approaches in 65 but were these remnants of WWII or for the Communist scare? My guess is leftovers from WWII?

Misty said...

There was a POW camp very close to this position during the war and there was a deliberate strategy of not bombing shrines. You can read about that in George Kerr's book.

Drove over the new bridge this evening and had a good look at the old bridge layed out like bits of lego by the side of the river. It is a mystery what they intend to do with it.

Don said...

Misty, are you saying that the old bridge was torn down, or is it just closed?


Misty said...

The old bridge was taken apart bit by bit and replaced with a new bridge just beside it. That happened some years ago. Since then they have been trying to get the traffic worked out in this area but it is officially a mess. I can only assume that by keeping the old bridge they intended to replace it at some time, but then the balance of power in Taiwan shifted.

There are overpasses that aren't in use because no one can figure out how to get people on and off the freeways onto Chungshan Bei Lu or round by where the Club 63 was.

Have a look at Google earth, which may not be up to date, and see if you can figure out how things should flow!

Misty said...

By the way. I just looked at Google earth/maps and it's quite out of date.

Don said...

I think Google Earth updated the image of the bridge area since I last looked at it some time ago. I don't remember seeing all of those partially completed spans before.


Anonymous said...

Here's a few old Taiwan postcards I have collected:

Don said...

Scott, those are really great postcards. The contrasts between the old and the new are amazing! Thanks a bunch for sharing them.