|Injeongjeon at Changdeok Palace / Courtesy of Cultural Heritage Administration|
By Kwak Yeon-soo
Various cultural events are expected to take place at Joseon-era (1392-1910) palaces and the former presidential office, Cheong Wa Dae, in Seoul beginning September along with the cool autumn breeze.
Gyeongbok Palace will offer its fall night tour program from Sept. 1 to Oct. 29 every Wednesday to Sunday, the Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA) said Monday. The spring nighttime tour, in the first half of this year, attracted a total of 112,820 visitors.
Venues open for the night tour are Gwanghwamun, Heungnyemun, Geunjeongjeon, Gyeonghoeru, Sajeongjeon, Gangnyeongjeon, Gyotaejeon and Amisan areas.
Up to 2,700 visitors will be admitted per evening. Reservations are required and can be made through Ticket.11st.co.kr website. Online reservations will open on Aug. 25 for September admissions and Sept. 26 for October admissions, with each person limited to four tickets.
Admission fee is 3,000 won but free to people of national merit and their spouses, holders of distinguished service certificates, persons with severe disabilities and one accompanying person, seniors over the age of 65 and people wearing hanbok.
Meanwhile, Geoncheonggung, often referred to as King Gojong's private retreat, will open to the public until Sept. 18 with exhibitions that display the royal lifestyle of the Joseon era.
At Changdeok Palace, "The Moonlight Tour" program will run from Sept. 7 through Oct. 22, and operate every Thursday to Sunday. Foreign language commentary in English, Chinese and Japanese will be available from Oct. 19 to Oct. 22. Up to 150 visitors will be admitted per day. Changdeok Palace was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.
Each person can enter the event from Aug. 22 to Aug. 27 through TicketLink.co.kr. The organizers will announce random winners on Aug. 28, and they can choose the date they would like to visit. The admission fee is 30,000 won per person. All visitors must purchase tickets online except for disabled and senior citizens aged 65 and older, who can book tickets by phone.
Cheong Wa Dae, the newest major tourist attraction in Korea since it opened to the public in May last year, will host "The Blue House Concert" on Sept. 9 and 10, according to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
On Sept. 9 at 7:30 p.m., Gwangju Symphony Orchestra conductor Hong Seok-won and Korea National Symphony Orchestra will perform "Eugene Onegin Op.24 Polonaise," "Brahms: Hungarian Dances, No.5 In G Minor" and "Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker." Singers Ko Yeong-yeol and Mamamoo's Solar and Moon Byul will also perform on stage.
On Sept. 10 at 5 p.m., opera singers including bass-baritone Samuel Youn, mezzo-soprano Lee Ah-kyung, baritone Yang Jun-mo and soprano Im Se-kyung will sing "The Barber of Seville," "Madame Butterfly" among others.