Cheong Wa Dae is where the President of the Republic of Korea lives and works. The compound is home to administrative offices for the President, Secretariat and other staff as well as the official residence of the President and First Lady. Cabinet meetings, receptions for state guests, critical decision-making for the country, and diplomatic events all take place here. As such, the name “Cheong Wa Dae” not only denotes a specific location but also stands for the highest authority of the Republic of Korea.
In Goryeo (918-1392), royal palace halls were on today’s Cheong Wa Dae site, and this was part of the rear garden for Gyeongbokgung, the main palace, during Joseon (1392-1910). Destroyed in the late 16th century, Gyeongbokgung was rebuilt in the mid-19th century under the orders of the regent Heungseon Daewongun, who named the site Gyeongmudae (archery range) to express wishes for officials’ literary and martial skills to flourish together. During the Japanese colonial period (1910-1945), the Governor-General’s official residence was located here, and after liberation, the Republic of Korea President began to use the site as a residence and office. It was renamed Cheong Wa Dae in 1960, and the Main Office Building was completed in 1991, giving Cheong Wa Dae its current appearance.