City Hall, Seoul
City Hall was constructed in 1926 in a gothic style reminiscent of something from New York City, Chicago, or possibly Batman. It was built during the Japanese occupation and has always housed the Seoul Metropolitan Government. The new City Hall, located just behind the old, was constructed from 2008 to 2012 and is a massive, ultramodern glass building. Old City Hall is now a library.
City Hall Plaza is the open area in front of City Hall. It was just rebuilt in Spring 2004 from a huge, unsightly intersection to a green open area.
Also in the area of City Hall are Deoksugung Palace, the Anglican Cathedral dating from 1926, and the major business hotels of Seoul such as the Westin Chosun Hotel, the Seoul Plaza Hotel, and the Lotte Hotel.
The redesigned open area in front of City Hall has become a popular spot for public celebrations and demonstrations.
Hi Seoul festival was held from May.1st to May.9th. This was the 2nd festival and will be held every year in Seoul. There were diverse kinds of events during this period. And the "Light show (PiGi show)" was one of the events. It was planned to celebrate the completion of the Seoul Plaza and is expected to establish Seoul Plaza as a popular attraction of Seoul.
When Dave (VT ID: houstondave), one of my VTer friends, visited Seoul for 3days, I took him to this light show on May.7th. And we both really enjoyed this light show. After Dave went back home, on May.9th, which was the last day of festival, I went to see that show again. And the show was even more terrific than the ones they had shown before. (Dave, I am sorry you missed that..)
On top of that, the last moment of the show was decorated with beautiful firework at the top of the Plaza hotel.
Every moment was too beautiful so I cannot but share those moments here.
Hopefully, I can meet many VTers in Hi Seoul Festival in next year.
South Koreans are known around the world as passionate and avid rallyist!. My Guide told me that practically everyday, there are rallies conducted at the city hall area on an infinite amount of grievances like agriculture subsidies, politics, fuel prices, anti-north korea, etc. Recently the rallies were against US Beef since there were unfounded rumours circulated that when you eat US Beef then you will die of Mad Cow Disease. Personally I think this is Xenophobia at it's worst.
This building was built in 1926 to house Seoul Metropolitan Government. It is designed in a gothic style with a large-size circular wall clock. This clock is synchronized by external satellite aerial GPS and at noon, the clock strikes 12 times with the melody of the traditional Bosingak bell.
Seoul Plaza re-opened on May 1, 2004, as the newly renovated place around the fountain area in front of Seoul City Hall. The fountains are neat as the heights and directions of the water columns can be controlled and 48 lights are installed around the grass square to light up the night. Large-scale cultural events are often held on the grass square as well.
We are still in downtown Seoul area and another intersting spot is the city hall and the grand square in front of it..
This are is covered with the city hall building on one side.. The historical palace on the left side and some other business buildings on the other sides..
City Hall is in downtown Seoul. It was built in 1926 to house Seoul Metropolitan Government (those nice people who publish Seoul's Best 100).
There is a spectacular light show here during the Hi Seoul Festival.
SKorea launched its first high speed train(KTX train) sometime in April 2004. I was very lucky to be the first few passengers to try it. I took a high speed train to Busan and it took about 3 hours. It was pretty much a smooth ride but the seats were rather narrow and you can really feel like a sardine if you have long legs. The ride cost about 45,000won.
To catch the train, take a subway to their spanking new Seoul station in the heart of the city. Buy your ticket from the counter ( Just say , "Busan", "KTX" ) and hop on the train.
This can be a scary scene to little kids because it looked like a real. And actually, this made one kid next to me cry!
These characters are called "Jang seung" in Korean. Long time ago, in country area, people could see these characters in every border or entrance to towns.
They played important role not only as a milestone but as a guardian. On top of that, people believed that they can be protected from evil spirits and diseases by these characters. Also, it has something to do with religious thing, so those were the sacred object that people couldn't even touch.
I am still amazed that they made this with light.