Joseon era royal palaces and other cultural sites of the period will waive entry fees, timed with the 74th Independence Day and the 100th anniversary celebrating the March 1 Independence Movement this year, according to the Cultural Heritage Administration.
In Seoul, four royal palaces, Gyeongbokgung, Deoksugung, Changdeokgung and Changgyeonggung, and Jongmyo Shrine will be free for public between Aug. 10-25.
It is the first time in four years that the authorities are exempting admission fees for royal tombs and the four palaces.
A picture of gangnyeongjeon, located in Gyeongbokgung, central Seoul (Cultural Heritage Administration)
In 2015, the palaces exemoted fees for about a month in July to attract public, amid the outbreak of the Middle East respiratory syndrome.
During the two-week period, Deoksugung and Changdeokgung palaces will be also open free at night. Jongmyo Shrine, which used to allow tours based on schedules except on Saturday, will allow in visitors without reservations.
The heritage administration will additionally make Gyeongbokgung Palace’s main hall Geunjeongjeon open to the public between Aug. 21 to Sept. 21, for the first time ever.
This image of the royal throne in Geunjeongjeon was provided by the Cultural Heritage Administration. (Yonhap)
Geunjeongjeon -- National Treasure No. 223 -- is the main hall located inside Gyeongbokgung Palace, which served as the space for the most important royal ceremonies. It also functioned as a venue for the coronation and reception of envoys from other countries.
During the one-month period, groups of 20 visitors will be allowed into the hall at a time. The palace will hold two tours a day, from Wednesday to Saturday, free of charge.
Hwaseong, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Suwon, will also be open to the public between Aug. 12-18, in celebration of the National Liberation Day on Aug. 15, according to the Suwan City government.
Other cultural sites open free to the public in Suwon during the same period include Hwaseong Haengung, Suwon Museum and Suwon Hwaseong Museum.
By Shim Woo-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)