Blue House gates open to public for first time in 74 years
Updated: 2022-05-11 07:17:00 KST
The Blue House grounds have opened up to the public for the first time in 74 years.
"I'm so happy and grateful that such a chance has come for me. I'm going to look at each place that's open. It's not every day you can come here."
"Mom said we should come here since it's opening day. I like missing school to come here."
"It took four hours for me to come here. It's really meaningful that it's opening for the first time in over 70 years, and I think it's really good for the people."
"The Blue House used to be a place we'd only see on the news or on TV, but coming here, it feels so different and majestic."
On opening day, around 26-thousand people got the chance to take a peep inside the former presidential grounds.
Indoors still remain off limits, however.
Authorities still need time to sort confidential documents and office fixtures, before opening up to the public.
Before then, visitors can only take in the exterior view of the famous Blue House halls
like Yeongbingwan, the official reception hall for foreign dignitaries, and Chimnyugak, Seoul city's tangible cultural heritage as a traditional Korean house from the early 1900s.
"The Blue House's garden, Nokjiwon, is known for its lush greenery."
Visitors can take a stroll while enjoying the scenery that has over 120 types of trees and the famous 7 century-year-old pine tree."
The hiking trail behind the Blue House that leads up to Bukaksan Mountain also opened up on Tuesday morning for the first time in over five decades.
"It's been 50 years since I've lived in the area. I've always passed here but couldn't go in. I'm so grateful and happy that this place is open now so that the residents can come and go."
The Blue House gates will be open from 7AM to 7PM for the rest of the days leading up to the 22nd of May.
After that, authorities have yet to decide how to manage public tours.
The Blue House intends to take in up to 39-thousand guests per day.
People who are interested can sign up in advance through mobile apps, Kakao, Naver, or Toss.
Kim Yeon-seung, Arirang News