Mountain behind Blue House extends hours

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Mountain behind Blue House extends hours

The opening hours of the trails of Mount Bugak, which borders the backyard of the Blue House, will be broadly extended starting next month, heritage authorities said Tuesday.

The entrance to Mount Bugak overlooking central Seoul was previously open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. from March to October, but starting in May, the opening hours will be extended by two hours from 7:00 a.m., the Cultural Heritage Administration and the Korea Cultural Heritage Foundation said.

From May to August, the closing hours will be further pushed back to 7:00 p.m. from 6:00 p.m., allowing more people to explore the scenic walkways on the mountain, the authorities said.

The operation hours for the winter season between November and February have also been extended by one hour from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Along with the decisions, the trails’ closure every Monday has also been lifted to admit visitors every day.

Mount Bugak’s trails had been off limits until 2007 after a group of some 30 North Korean spies used the route in their botched operation to infiltrate and launch an attack on the Blue House in January 1968.

Mount Bugak’s summit offers an open view of the bustling cityscape in central Seoul, as well as an old base for Vulcan automatic cannons, which were operated for 30 years to defend the Blue House.

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