2018년 3월 7일 수요일

Cheongwadae (President Office) Tour

Cheongwadae (the Blue House), which literally means ‘pavilion of blue tiles’, is the presidential residence and office of Korea. Guided tours are free for those who make a reservation on a certain day. They walk in Cheongwadae and take some pictures. Trips involving Chilgung can take up to 1.5 hours.
- Operation hours: 10 am, 11 am, 2 pm (3 pm), and 3 pm (4 pm) (Summer)
- Unavailable on Monday, Sunday, and holiday
- Application has to be submitted at least 3 weeks in advance
- Each visitor MUST bring his/her passport.
- Tour courses: Chunchugwan -> Nokjiwon -> Former Main Office site -> Main Office -> 
           Youngbingwan -> Chilgung (optional) -> Sarangchae and Mugunghwa Dongsan (optional)
- Meeting: The East Gate of Gyeongbokgung Palace



1. History
The site of Cheongwadae was once home to a royal villa from year 1114 during the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392). Several pavilions as the back garden of Gyeongbokgung Palace were built during the Joseon Dynasty (1392~1910). However, most of the buildings were demolished by Japanese during the Japanese occupation (1910~1945) and the official residence of the Japanese governor. The current main building and residence quarters were built in 1991.

2. Chunchugwan
Chunchugwan is home to about 170 domestic and international correspondents who report on president’s state affairs. The roof of Chunchugwan was made of earthen tiles. Tour visitors arrive at the gate in front of Chunchugwan by bus from Gyeongbokgung Palace. Then pass cards are given to them and they have to hang them on their necks. The tour begins with the simple instructions.

*The above photo from VisitKorea

3. Nokjiwon (Green Grass Garden)

Nokjiwon is one of the most beautiful places in Cheongwadae. Created in 1968, this garden is surrounded by more than 120 different types of trees. Especially there is one famous fine tree which is 310 years old.










4. Main Office
In 1939, Japanese governor built an official residence/office for the governor-general on the site. Syngman Rhee, the first Korean president, called the building "Gyeongmudae" (景武臺). He used it as his office and residence. It was dismantled during Kim Young-sam's presidency in 1993.



* The stone above is the only remaining part of the building.

5. Main Office
Main office building is characterized by its blue tiles. The roof of the building was constructed in the hipped and gabled style (a roof type in traditional Korean houses), regarded as one of the most stylish and charming styles of Korean traditional architecture. The building was built in 1991, with elegant blue tiles and gentle curved roofs. Especially blue tiles and soft roofs are beautifully blended with Bugaksan Mountain in the backdrop. About 150,000 tiles form the roof. Each is individually baked to make it strong enough for hundreds of years to use.




6. Yeongbingwan (Reception Hall)
Yeongbingwan is an official function hall, which is used for receptions for presidential guests and official conferences. It was completed in 1978.



7. Chilgung (7 Small Palaces)
Chilgung refers to seven small palaces situated in the southwest part of Cheongwadae, each of which guards an ancestral tablet of a royal concubine who bore a king during the Josun Dynasty. Only Cheongwadae visitors are able to visit Chigung (7 Small Palaces) where the public access is limited.




8. Cheonwadae Sarangchae
Cheongwadae Sarangchae is located across the street from the entrance of Cheongwadae. It is a historical memorial and museum where visitors can share the past, present, and future vision of Korea. It is composed of a planned exhibition hall, Korean culture exhibition hall, Korean food (hansik) promotion hall on the first floor and Cheongwadae Hall which introduces former Korean presidents and Haengboknuri Hall which presents the future vision of Korea on the second floor.