South Korea’s former presidential workplace turns into live performance venue, vacationer scorching spot, Latest Travel News
SEOUL – For seven many years, South Koreans may see the enduring blue tiled roof of their president’s workplace solely from afar.
Cheong Wa Dae, additionally named the Blue House due to its distinctive roof, was a heavily-guarded place shrouded from view by lush timber.
But final month, it was vacated and “returned to the people” as newly-inaugurated South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol promised.
The sprawling 250,000 sq m compound is now getting a brand new lease of life as a live performance venue and vacationer scorching spot.
Ok-pop star Rain staged a solo live performance there on Friday (June 17) as a part of a brand new Netflix present, turning into the primary to take action.
A brand new “Visit Korean Heritage” marketing campaign lists the Blue House as certainly one of 10 must-visit websites for vacationers and has deliberate promotional actions corresponding to a live performance in August and a digital media artwork present in October.
Open to the general public from May 10, the Blue House has drawn greater than 770,000 guests in a month, all curious for a glimpse into the lifetime of their former leaders.
Key sights embody the primary workplace constructing, the official residence inside a hanok (Korean conventional home), the state visitor home, and a backyard boasting 120 species of timber, a lot of them planted by former presidents.
Blogger Kim Min-so was a type of who witnessed the “opening of the Blue House in a moment of history”.
“I’ve only seen the Blue House on television before,” she wrote on her weblog. “Seeing it in real life for the first time, I could feel how majestic it is.”
Another blogger who goes by the identify Moonlight famous that the within of the primary workplace constructing appears like a palace and “there’s a lot of old-fashioned charms everywhere”.
Situated on the foot of Mount Bugak, the Blue House web site was as soon as the personal rear backyard of Joseon dynasty (1392-1910) kings who lived in the primary palace Gyeongbokgung.
The Japanese colonial period noticed the development of a blue-roofed official residence for its highest-ranking official in 1939, after which it was occupied by generations of South Korean presidents post-independence, from 1948.
The present fundamental workplace constructing was accomplished in 1991, designed to appear like palaces of the Joseon dynasty. About 150,000 blue tiles have been created specifically for the roof.
The opening of the Blue House to the general public marks the tip of an period of presidents who lived and labored in such seclusion that they have been criticised for being out of contact with the folks.
President Yoon, who referred to as the Blue House an emblem of “imperialistic power”, has shifted his workplace to a extra accessible location in Yongsan.
No choice has been made but concerning the way forward for the compound. The Cultural Heritage Administration, which is now managing the compound, has stated it’ll draw up a plan to “make the Blue House a symbolic historical and cultural space of the country where history and the future can coexist”.
Officials stated it may very well be was a park or museum, whereas students put forth concepts corresponding to turning it right into a library, a venue for cultural festivals, and a Ok-pop live performance corridor geared toward drawing overseas guests.
Experts have urged towards hasty choices, warning that the landmark shouldn’t be decreased to a mere house for leisure.
Mr Choi Jong-deok, former director of the National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage, referred to as for an intensive research of the Blue House compound to assist decide one of the best methods to preserve and utilise the house.
“The Blue House must be reborn as a place where you can meet the history and culture from Joseon to Korea,” he stated. “We must find the right balance between conservation and use.”
Noting that some guests have broken objects contained in the Blue House, Professor Choi Jong-ho of the Korea National University of Culture Heritage urged “more active measures to protect and preserve our cultural heritage”, quite than to “just focus on utilisation of the space”.
Singaporean Chen Huiqi, 38, who visited the Blue House in May, stated it was an eye-opening expertise that she would advocate to pals and relations who’re touring South Korea.
“It’s not an everyday affair – that’s why I found it interesting, especially with the history in it,” she informed The Straits Times.
“Usually commoners only see the Blue House in the news. To actually step foot in it is really ‘wow’, cool!”
The Blue House is closed on Tuesdays. On different days, guests can simply queue exterior the primary entrance Shinmumun without spending a dime entry on a primary come, first served foundation.
Up to 49,000 persons are allowed to enter on any day.