Sunday, 3 March 2013
Visiting Blue House ( Residence of the President of S. Korea)
I was very lucky to have had a chance to tour BLUE HOUSE, last October when I was in Seoul. It was a beautiful Autumn day, with clear blue sky. A rare chance to be allowed to in the Blue House as a family of the senior civil servant. All complicated checks of security we were on the ground of this mini palace.
Blue House is called because of blue roof tiles, personally I do not like any coloured tile on the Korean traditional house but this huge House did not seem too odd and a good name for the Nation's President Residence. I bet one senior civil servant thought about this name after White House, as Blue House, Well, I am wildly guessing.
Blue House is sit on the foot hill of mountain, it is not a big park and not as big as Kyungbok Palace , old and a few modern buildings and traditional houses are dotted around. It was very well managed park, well designed garden and pond, old pine trees were magnificent.
We could see the President's private living quarter by distance , I have heard that ex President, Lee likes to ride bicycle on this road to the office every morning.
When we were inside, we could see real a cabinet minister's meeting room, it just looked like a mini UN conference room, every desk with computer and microphone were set , nothing like I used to have seen Downing Street, our own Prime Minister's cabinet meeting room on TV, it was very spacious .
Sadly we were not allowed take any photos. I can imagine how European Government would be envious of this power room.
All rooms were so elegantly decorated , Foreign Dignitaries Greeting and Banquet room ( Youngbinkwan) was very impressive, deep yellow colour room looks very grand for the occasion.
My favourite house was Outdoor Dinning House for the foreign guests, it is on the hill of park.
The Traditional house with garden and a few big persimmon trees , it just like the my father's village house, very charming and welcoming house.
I cam imagine many historic lunches may have had served there. I just loved the simplicity of it.
Compare with the official Grand Greeting Room (Youngbinkwan), this house had more cosy and intimate , friendly feel to it.
Planting Persimmon trees is a clever idea,because persimmons are symbol of ordinary people's a comfort fruit in Korea.
They were strikingly beautiful against blue Autumn sky.
I was told one spot on the hill, next to Outdoor Dinning House is The Very Best Burial Spot by the Chinese Pengsui theory. A huge urn like ceramic jar is there on that spot.
Certainly looks a Perfect place to be, looking down at the city of Seoul. protected by Mountain in the back, Sun drenched spot, it looks the part. However nobody, buried yet so far.
I was glad to be able to see this grand House and very proud of my Old Country , Korea!
Now, new Lady President, Park is in this Residence, I wonder how the house character will be changed in the future.
I am sure New President have no problem to settling in her old childhood house.