GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION: The Red House was actually the first premise that I visited once arrived in Taipei. It is majestically located in the Ximen area, right beside Exit 1 of the Ximen MRT Station, right across the busy pedestrian crossing at Ximen Pedestrian Walk - there is no way you are going to miss this building.
Why is this building called the Red House? Obviously, it is red because of the red bricks that are used for construction, unless RED is associated with something else that I do not know.
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND: The Red House was first built in 1903 and used as a public market. After World War ll, the building functioned as an opera house, a performance and movie theatre. Today, it has been transformed into a cultural centre with exhibitions and performances held regularly.
OTHER INTERESTING FACTS: (1) The building consists of two main structures - the Chinese octagonal "bagua" [see photos above] and the Christian's cross/crucifix, which are joined together. The reason is to guard off the building from the demons of the Chinese descent as well as the demons from the west.
There was an exhibition opened to the public at the main octagonal building, something to do with the history of the building. Unfortunately everything was done in Chinese so I had to make my own inference while looking at the exhibits. The building with the crucifix shape was used for promoting the local creative and arts industry where there were shops and outlets selling various kinds of goods which will be reported in my next post.
On weekends, canopies would be erected outside the Red House for people to display more modern arts and indie-related merchandise. It is something like a night market but but the atmosphere.seemed to be more modern and sophisticated.
(2) Behind the Red House, you could find rows of bars which cater to the city's gay community. Nearby, there are adult shops which I first thought were selling men's swimwear. Luckily, I decided to join the Walking Tour on my second day in Taipei, and then only I was told of these facts by the guides.
As you can see, there were no more canopies outside the Red House. The picture was taken on Monday when I was with the Walking Tour and the guide decided we had to take a selfie in front of the prominent landmark.
NEXT: walking around the crucifix shaped building of the Red House.