Meet the provisional capital, Busan.
Provisional Capital Memorial Hall, the trace of the Korean War.
Shortly after the breakout of the Korean War—the nation’s biggest tragedy—on June 25, 1950, the government organizations, including the president, moved to Busan, which became a provisional capital. The provincial office of Gyeongsangnam-do Province was used as the presidential residence, which has continued to remain as a monument that contains the history of Busan today.
The Provisional Capital Memorial Hall is divided into the Official Residence for the President and the Exhibition Hall.
The presidential residence includes a reception room, a study room, and an office room, which were reproduced from the ones used at that time. The reception room used to be a space where important political decisions and foreign diplomatic work were done. Its unusual Western-style structure indicates that the room must have played an important role during the days of evacuation.
In the study room, you can see a wax figure of former President Rhee Syngman. At the time, President Rhee Syngman spent most of his time here, working and resting. The living room displays miniatures that show the political activities, life, and education during the period, designed to remind visitors of the time period vividly.
Along the hallway, daily records of the presidential residence and major events in Busan are exhibited, including the major political history of the provisional capital. This is intended for visitors to examine the role Busan played as a provisional capital during the period of evacuation. The room of testimony, which used to be a guard room, tells the tragedy of the Korean War, and the room of remembrance, where cooks used to reside, is filled with books related to President Rhee Syngman.
On the second floor are the office room and the room of retrospection. The office room was where President Rhee Syngman did his personal affairs, and Francesca, his Austrian wife, did housework. At present, it remains the way it was without exhibits. The room of retrospection, which was used as a guest room, is designed for visitors to watch a film about Busan.
Exhibition Hall is a building that was used as a residence for prosecutors of Busan High Prosecutors’ Office. It exhibits various relics, reproduced models, panels, and videos that allow visitors to feel the lives of the evacuees directly. The mock-ups of shacks, schools, and coffee shops in those days also provide a good opportunity for visitors to understand the suffering of refugees who had to leave their hometowns during the war.
The Korean government and its people had to evacuate to Busan in the chaos of warfare.
Why don’t you take a look at a page of history and clearly feel the breath of the people in Provisional Capital Memorial Hall?
** Use of Provisional Capital Memorial Hall may be limited due to COVID-19. Please check out the website for information in advance.
You need to change into room slippers placed at the entrance before visiting the presidential residence