Unhyeon Palace in Seoul will open to the public free of charge from Thursday.
Unlike other cultural assets that fall under the jurisdiction of Seoul City such as Gyeonghui Palace, Namsangol Hanok Village and Mongchon Earthen Fortress, it has charged an entrance fee of W700 for adults and W300 for children (US$1=W1,071).
The palace in Jongno served as the official residence of Regent Heungseon, father of King Gojong, the 26th monarch of the Chosun Dynasty who reigned from 1897 to 1907. The king spent his childhood there before ascending to the throne at the age of 12.
The city expects the new policy to boost the number of visitors to the palace and neighboring Insa-dong and Bukchon Village. To attract more people, it is also preparing a range of programs such as the reenactment of King Gojong's royal wedding in the palace in April, fashion shows of royal garments in May, and nocturnal outdoor concerts in July and August.
The measure will also boost people’s interest in Korean history, a city official said.