@94 days until Hiroshima Summit: Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall

by Rina Yuasa, Staff Writer

The Atomic Bomb Dome, located in Hiroshima’s Naka Ward, tells the tragedy of 78 years ago to visitors from all over the world. It is a building in the Western architecture style completed in 1915, originally as the Hiroshima Commercial Exhibition Hall. It was a facility to promote local specialties.

Designed by Czech architect Jan Letzel, it was a three-story brick structure with a five-story central section. This photo (provided by Kyoko Nakamura and Takanori Masuda) taken in 1938, after the building was renamed the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall, shows it had a domed roof over it. When viewed from directly above, the roof is actually an oval, not a circle.

After the war, it became commonly known as the Atomic Bomb Dome. It was registered as a World Heritage Site in 1996 under the name Hiroshima Peace Memorial. The names of different periods represent the changing role of the building.

(Originally published on February 14, 2023)