Saturday, August 01, 2009

광화문광장이 열렸다

The Gwanghwamun Plaza is open to public today. It is not exactly completed yet. There is still the statue of King Sejong to be erected on Hangeul Day on Oct 9. However, the flower carpet behind the statue is ready for public view. A lot of effort has been given to arrange the colourful flowers and cacti into large floral pattern.

The opening of Gwanghwamun Plaza drew a lot of ajeosshis and ajumma. It shows the significance of the place in the heart of the older generation.

This is a postcard shelf. Commemorative postcards are given away free.

Looking at the flower carpet at ground level. The bright red circle and yellow outline are formed by cacti.

Looking at the flower carpet from an elevated platform.

The authority hopes that this painstakingly-arranged flower carpet could help to calm nerves and reduce the chance of demonstration at the plaza.

Haechi, the mascot chosen to represent Seoul in an all-out effort to brand the city. It is here to stay and perhaps bring in more tourism money for the city.

Man-made waterway can be found on both sides of the plaza. The waterways are actually connected all the way to Cheonggyecheon.

Children are having a lot of fun playing in the waterway.

Gwanghwamun is still under restoration. The gate is not aligned exactly to the central axis of the Gwanghwamun Plaza. It is slightly to the left of the axis.

Views of Gwanghwamun Plaza and the crowd at the opening day.

Walking down to the gallery beneath the statue of Admiral Yi Shun-shin. The underground gallery is connected to Gwanghwamun Station (Line 5) and Kyobo Bookstore. The building with big flower prints is the Kyobo building.

Looking straight, Cheonggyecheon, City Hall and Seoul Plaza are not very far from the plaza.

An exhibition on Haechi to promote it as a new brand identity of Seoul.

A photo gallery on famous squares in Europe.

Although there was cultural performance in the evening, it was so crowded at the plaza that there was no point for me to stick around since I probably wouldn't get a good view of the performance. So I left before the performance starts.

This picture of the stage was taken a day before the opening day. The US Embassy is at the back. To allow US to set up its embassy at the historical important Gwanghwamun just go to show the importance of US presence in the country. It is a grim reminder that Korea has yet to own their destiny. The Japanese left Gwanghwamun but the Americans came and stayed.

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