Blue House

Cheongwadae (Korean: 청와대; Hanja: 靑瓦臺; literally "pavilion of blue tiles"),[1][2][3] also known as the Blue House informally, is the executive office and official residence of the Republic of Korea's head of state, the President of the Republic of Korea, located in Jongno-gu of the capital Seoul. Cheongwadae is in fact a complex of multiple buildings, built largely in the traditional Korean architectural style with some modern architectural elements and facilities. The Blue House is the most protected official residence in Asia.

Cheongwadae
청와대
靑瓦臺
Cheongwadae
Korea-Seoul-Blue House (Cheongwadae) Reception Center 0688&9-07 cropped.jpg
The reception center of Cheongwadae in August 2010.
Blue House is located in Seoul
Blue House
Location in Seoul
Former namesGyeongmudae
Alternative namesThe Blue House
General information
Address1 Cheongwadae-ro, Jongno-gu
Town or citySeoul
CountrySouth Korea
Coordinates37°35′12″N 126°58′35″E / 37.586673°N 126.976268°E / 37.586673; 126.976268Coordinates: 37°35′12″N 126°58′35″E / 37.586673°N 126.976268°E / 37.586673; 126.976268
Current tenantsMoon Jae-in, President of South Korea
Construction startedJuly 22, 1989 (1989-07-22)
CompletedSeptember 4, 1991 (1991-09-04)
Blue House
Hanja
Revised RomanizationCheongwadae
McCune–ReischauerCh'ŏng'wadae

Built upon the site of the royal garden of the Joseon Dynasty (1392–1910), Cheongwadae now consists of the Main Office Hall Bon-gwan (Korean: 본관; Hanja: 本館), the Presidential Residence, the State Reception House Yeongbin-gwan (Korean: 영빈관; Hanja: 迎賓館), the Chunchu-gwan (Korean: 춘추관; Hanja: 春秋館) Press Hall, and the Secretariat Buildings. The entire complex covers approximately 250,000 square metres or 62 acres.

HistoryEdit

The location of Cheongwadae was the site of a royal villa in what was then Hanyang, the southern capital of the Goryeo dynasty (918–1392). It was built by King Sukjong (r. 1095–1105) in 1104. Goryeo's principal capital was at Kaesong, and it also maintained a western capital at Pyongyang and an eastern capital at Gyeongju.

After the Joseon Dynasty (1392–1897) moved its capital to Hanyang, Gyeongbokgung was built in 1395, the fourth year of the reign of King Taejo (r. 1392–1398) as the main palace, and the royal villa lot became the back garden of the palace. It was used as the site for civil service examinations and military training.

Following the Empire of Japan's annexation of the Korean Empire in 1910, the Governor-General of Korea used the Gyeongbokgung grounds for the Government-General Building. In July 1939, Japan built an official residence/office for the governor-general on the site of Cheongwadae.

With the establishments of the Republic of Korea in 1948, President Syngman Rhee called the building "Gyeongmudae" (Korean: 경무대; Hanja: 景武臺), which was the name of one of the few old buildings for former official residence there. He used it as his office and residence. President Yun Bo-seon changed the name to "Cheongwadae" after he was inaugurated in 1960.

In 1968, North Korean infiltrators nearly reached the building in a bid to assassinate President Park Chung-hee during the Blue House raid. In the ensuing melee, 28 North Koreans, 26 South Koreans and four Americans were killed.

Presidents Park Chung-hee, Choi Kyu-ha, and Chun Doo-hwan used the building both as their office and official residence. While President Roh Tae-woo was in office, a new office building, official residence, and press center, called Chunchu-gwan, were built. The main office building was opened in April 1991. In 1993 during Kim Young-sam's presidency, the building built by Japan for then official residence was dismantled.

SettingEdit

Gardens on the grounds of Cheong Wa Dae

Geomancers have long considered the area in which Cheongwadae is located as an auspicious location. This view was backed up by an inscription on a stone wall that reads: "The Most Blessed Place on Earth", found behind the official presidential residence during the construction of a new building in 1990.

To the north is the mountain Bukhansan, flanked by two mountains, Naksan, symbolizing the Azure Dragon, on the left and Inwangsan, symbolizing the White Tiger, on the right. To the south is Namsan, the protective mountain of the capital. In front flow the Cheonggyecheon stream and Han River.

In popular cultureEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Romanization by the official website: english.president.go.kr Archived 14 October 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Cheong Wa Dae rules out renegotiation of FTA with US". Seoul: Yonhap News Agency. 20 November 2009. Retrieved 12 December 2009.
  3. ^ "Cheong Wa Dae Aims to End Graft in Defense Procurement". Chosun Ilbo. Seoul, South Korea. 9 December 2009. Retrieved 12 December 2009.

External linksEdit