The National Palace was never a palace, ie., no emperor or head of state ever lived there. It was designed specifically to be a museum, to display the nearly 680,000 artifacts once housed in the Forbidden City in Beijing. According to Wikipedia, about 15,000 pieces are displayed at any one time, and the display rotates four times a year, so it takes over 11 years to see the entire collection.
The palace has a beautiful traditional facade but is actually built into the mountain behind it.
That evening we returned to Chung-shan Park to view the Taipei Lantern Festival. The actual date of the Lantern Festival wasn’t until Monday—the first full moon of the New Year—but the city had events going on all weekend. In front of the Sun Yat-sen Memorial, scores of lanterns were on display. These were custom-made by local schools and groups in the shape of famous landmarks, animals, and Chinese mythological figures.