On May 1, 2004, Seoul Plaza opened in front of Seoul City Hall. The total area of Seoul Plaza occupies 3,995-pyeong and about half of the area, amounting to 1,904-pyeong, is the grass square. Starting with its first event "Hi! Seoul Festival", various cultural events and festivals are held throughout the year. Seoul Plaza is perfectly situated near tourist attractions. Cheonggyecheon Stream, Jeong-dong, and Seoul Museum of Art are only 10 minutes' walk from Seoul Plaza. Enjoy a variety of fun events while at Seoul Plaza.
Seoul Plaza is an iconic gathering place for Seoul citizens. Anyone can kick back and relax and take in the free atmosphere at Seoul Plaza. Until Seoul Plaza was reconstructed as a plaza in 2004, it was a road filled with cars. Seoul Plaza, however, became the symbol of Culture Station Seoul and a place for citizens.
Seoul Plaza is well-known for being a place for festivals. Various events and festivals are frequently held throughout the year. People often watch a movie while sitting or lying on the grass or enjoy dancing together.
"Rain Festival", one of the latest events held in Seoul Plaza, refreshed Seoul citizens who had been suffering from the extremely hot weather. In addition, the festival provided an educational program that reminded people of the significance and value of water.
A variety of festivals held in Seoul Plaza give citizens an opportunity to experience a diverse range of culture. Through festivals, people can broaden their perspectives and find some peaceful moments of rest.
Even when a festival or special event is not being held, Seoul Plaza brings pleasure to Seoul citizens through the form of fountains in the summer and an ice rink in the winter.
A phrase on the sign hanging on the building of Seoul Metropolitan Library helps to set a peaceful atmosphere. The phrase made me stop for a moment and ponder about its meaning.
The phrase states, "I become wind when I step in the shadow of you". The sign, which changes frequently and contains a different phrase each time, is known as "Dream Sign". Since June 2013, Seoul Metropolitan Library has been inviting the general public to get involved regardless of region or age and help come up with good phrases to be displayed on the Dream Sign. Many people are moved by the message and are able to summon courage and motivation from the sign.
Seoul Plaza used to be called "City Hall Plaza" before it had been rebuilt as Seoul Plaza in 2004. The old city hall was converted into Seoul Metropolitan Library. The original building exterior and its historical symbol still remain intact just like when it was first built in 1926, and only the inside of the building was renovated as a library.
You can see the restorations of the former Mayor's Office and Control Room on the third floor of Seoul Metropolitan Library. The former Mayor's Office has been perfectly restored just as it was. The library displays various exhibits related to the old city hall containing a half-century worth of history after the liberation of Korea. It is highly regarded as an educational space.
The Seoul Archival Services share the records and information of Seoul with citizens. The Memorial Altar for MV Sewol Victims was relocated from Seoul Plaza to Seoul Archival Services. Seoul Metropolitan Library is not only a library but also a cultural space connecting the past, the present, and the future.
The Citizens Hall near Seoul City Hall is a cultural space for citizens' participation, cultural shows, exhibitions, and events. In this sense, its Chinese name uses cheong (聽) meaning "listening", instead of cheong (廳) meaning "office". It means that the Seoul Metropolitan Government aims to listen to the voices of its citizens and facilitate better interaction with them.
The Gungisi Relics Exhibition Hall is another special place located within Citizens Hall. The exhibition hall displays artifacts, all of which were excavated during the construction of Seoul City Hall. The exhibits consist of the relics of Gungisi, a military weapons depot of the Joseon Dynasty. Participating in "Tong Tong Tour: The Way of History" provided by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, visitors can browse around the exhibition hall with the aid of culture and tourism expert's professional guidance and insights.
Seoul Metropolitan Library, Citizens Hall, and Seoul Plaza are cherished as an open rest area by Seoul citizens. Seoul Plaza was a historical site related to the March 1st Movement, the April Revolution, and the June Democratic Uprising. In 2002, numerous people in red T-shirts gathered together in Seoul Plaza to cheer for the Korean team during the 2002 FIFA World Cup and this ‘sea of red’ caused the whole world to become enamored as a result. Whenever Seoul citizens need to combine their forces, they would gather together in Seoul Plaza. In other words, Seoul Plaza embraced the sorrows and pleasures of Seoul citizens for centuries. I hope that Seoul Plaza always remains as a place of the citizens, by the citizens, and for the citizens.