In South Korea, visitors have been flocking in droves to see where the country's leaders used to work and live.
As of last month, the country's former presidential palace, Cheong Wa
Dae, also known as the Blue House because of its striking tiled roof,
was vacated and opened its doors to the public.
Since then, the sprawling 250,000 sqm compound in Seoul has gained a
new lease on life as a concert venue and buzzed-about tourist
attraction, luring more than 770,000 visitors.
The country's K-pop industry was quick to avail of the venue, with
superstar Rain staging a solo concert last week, set to be streamed on
Key attractions at the Blue House include the main office building,
the official residence inside a hanok (Korean traditional house), the
state guest house, and a garden with 120 species of trees, many planted
by former presidents.
Situated at the foot of Mount Bugak, the Blue House site was once the
private rear garden of the Joseon dynasty (1392-1910) kings who lived
in the main palace Gyeongbokgung. The blue-roofed official residence was
added during the Japanese colonial era in 1939, after which from 1948
onwards, post-independence South Korean presidents made it their home.
Approximately 150,000 blue tiles comprise the roof of the current
main office building, which was designed to look like a Joseon dynasty
palace and completed in 1991.
While no official decision has been announced regarding the Blue
House's future, scholars have called for its conversion into, among
others, a park, museum, library, concert hall and cultural festivals
South Korean president Yoon Suk-yeol, meanwhile, has shifted his office to Yongsan.