Hidden underground space in downtown Seoul to be open to public

A mysterious huge underground space in the heart of Seoul will be opened to the public for one month beginning this week, the city government said Wednesday, seeking to add another attraction to the capital's tourism.

The space, which measures 335 meters in length, 9.5 meters in width, 4.5 meters in height and 3,182 square meters in size, was built 40 years ago for unknown purposes in a location 13 meters below Seoul Square in front of Seoul City Hall.

The city government invited the media to tour the space on Tuesday ahead of the public opening slated for Friday, arousing many people's curiosity about its purposes.

It is located right below CitiStar, an underground mall that connects City Hall Station on Subway Line No. 1 and Euljiro 1-ga Station on Line No. 2 via Seoul Square. Directly below the space are the tracks of Subway Line No. 2. Some city officials speculate that the tunnel was probably built to link the two stations in 1983.

Visitors can enter the dust-filled tunnel through Seoul Green Toy Library at Euljiro 1-ga Station's underground walkway. Due to water dripping from the ceiling, stalagmites and stalactites have been formed inside and visitors can hear and feel the vibrations of subway trains beneath.

The city government will offer a public guided tour of the tunnel on a reservation basis every Friday and Saturday until Sept. 23. Application for the one-hour tour can be made at the city government's booking website (yeyak.seoul.go.kr).

The government also launched a public contest Wednesday to collect ideas on how to utilize the underground space in the best way until Oct. 10.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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