The Provisional Capital Presidential Residence

Visit the Provisional Capital Memorial Hall in Busan, the country's temporary capital during the Korean War

View of the Gyeongsangnam-do provincial government officeProvisional Capital Memorial Hall

The Provisional Capital Presidential Residence

Busan was made South Korea's provisional capital in August 1950, two months after the Korean War broke out on June 25, 1950. Busan then functioned as the provisional capital for 1,023 days, until the government relocated to Seoul on August 15, 1953. The Gyeongsangnam-do governor's residence was used as the presidential residence during that time.

Blueprints for the new Gyeongsangnam-do provincial government building (1/100th scale)Provisional Capital Memorial Hall

Layout of the Provisional Capital Presidential Residence

The Provisional Capital Presidential Residence is made up of Western- and Japanese-style buildings.

The residence has an L-shaped floor plan and the overhang on the right side of the building houses an entrance and a reception area for guests. Aside from the Western-style reception room, the residence has a study, bedrooms, bathrooms, a kitchen, a teahouse, chef's quarters, and a guard post. On the first floor, it also has a Japanese-style wooden engawa porch and tatami room, which was used as the living room.

There are also three tatami rooms and engawas on the second floor, which were used as offices.

Reception room

This is the main space used for making political decisions and dealing with external diplomatic affairs in the provisional capital during the Korean War. In this room, President Syngman Rhee appointed major public officials such as the vice president, ministers, and generals. It is also where he received reports and issued orders on state affairs.


This small room attached to the reception room was where various books and references for government affairs were stored. President Syngman Rhee spent most of his time in this study resting and eating, among other things.

Living room

This was the living area for President Syngman Rhee's family and people working at the presidential residence, which was also known as Gyeongmudae.


This was the bedroom used by the president and his wife. 


Behind the Provisional Capital Presidential Residence is a small garden, where President Syngman Rhee would often meditate and exercise. Musicians would sometimes give performances there for the first lady and president, who would also often use the garden as a place to have private conversations with his guests.


Away from the residence, past the garden, is the former president's office. In 2008, it was turned into a museum to exhibit items from its time as the presidential residence.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Explore more
Related theme
Korea's Demilitarized Zone
Explore the DMZ through the lens of history, nature, and art in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice
View theme
Google apps