Skip to content

Busan – A Visit to the Provisional Capital Memorial Hall

Busan may be famous for its fantastic beaches, however it also has plenty of fascinating historical sites. I’ve written before about visiting the UN Memorial Cemetery and the UN Memorial Hall. Moreover, an interesting place I found out about in Busan is this house which has a lot of history to go with it.

Busan – Finding the Provisional Capital Hall

This place is located close to nearby sites Book Street and the Gamcheon Cultural Village. The nearest metro stop is Toseong which is a 5 minute walk away. Before you see the house itself, you will see a memorial to the Korean War on a staircase. Admission is also free which is great. A guide also greeted me and he explained a bit about the history behind the place in very good English.

The Exhibition About Life During the Korean War

Along with the house itself, there is also a small exhibition which gives good insights about what life was like during the Korean War. Busan became a place of refuge for many Koreans and life became difficult at this time. Many ordinary people struggled to get basic needs and American forces often gave out food.

The History of the House in Busan

The house has a very fascinating history as the Japanese built it in 1926 during colonial rule. The Japanese used this building as a residence of the regional governor. When the Korean War broke out, the North invaded the current current capital Seoul.

During this time, the remaining territory of South Korea was around Busan. Because of this, Busan became the provisional capital of South Korea. This was until UN forces took back Seoul. When Busan was the provisional capital, the president, Syngman Rhee used this house as his official residence.

Looking Inside

The house seems quite modest and small for an official residence. As is customary in Korea, you are expected to take your shoes off before going inside. The house has Syngman Rhee’s office where a wax version of him is sitting. Moreover, there’s also a dining room and a bedroom.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *