The Liberty Square (also called the Freedom Square), is a 240,000 square meter plaza, is one of the primary gathering places in Taipei. The square was established in the late 1970s. Its name comes from the important historical role it had in helping Taiwan change from a single-party system to democracy in the 1990s.
The square was first designed to memorialize Chiang Kai-shek, the President of the Republic of China who came to Taiwan after the overthrow of the Kuomintang regime during the Chinese Civil War. It was first opened to the public as Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Square after his death in 1975. In the 1980s and 1990s, the square became a hub of political activity, helping lead the way to a new era of democracy in Taiwan. One of the most influential pro-democracy demonstrations that happened at the square was the Wild Lily student movement of 1990. Movements like these led to the first popular elections of national leaders in 1996. The importance it had in establishing democracy led to its renaming as Liberty Square in 2007.
Many public gatherings are held in the square. Concerts and festivals happen all year round, such as the Taipei Lantern Festival. Soldiers and athletes also use the space to work on their drills and dance routines. On the east end of Liberty Square, there's the National Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial which is a giant statue of the general standing atop a museum devoted to Chinese politics. There are also beautiful ponds and parks surrounding the pathways in the square.
Cover image by AngMoKio is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.