The Grand People’s Study House, located in the centre of Pyongyang. It forms the background to Kim Il Sung Square and lies near to the Mansudae Grand Monuments.
Grand People’s Study House – About
The national library of North Korea, it has a total floor space of over 100,000 square meters. The building of the Grand People’s Study House is 10-storeys in total and reaches 63.56 meters high. It contains 20 reading rooms and 21 lecture rooms, divided into 10 sections. The Grand People’s Study house is stocked with 30 million books and can accommodate 10,000 people per day. It took a year and 9 months to be completed and was opened in April 1982 to coincide with President Kim-Il-sung’s 70th birthday.
Locals can enjoy many facilities including being able to read and take out books, access to many different documents and materials, as well as being able to use the computers and access the Korean intranet. Foreign publications are available to locals as well as tourists visiting – but locals must obtain special permission.
Apart from all of the various rooms you can take a look at, the building itself is worth taking a look at from the inside. Koreans aim to impress, and impress they do. The Grand People’s Study House is just that – Grand. Beautiful staircases and marble floors pave the way as you take a look around, and the high ceilings make for a light airy feel.
Grand People’s Study House – Visiting
Visiting the Grand People’s Study House in Pyongyang is a must. Every tourist visiting Pyongyang will at least see this impressive building from the outside, as it is the background to Kim Il Sung Square. It is also near popular tourist spots such as the foreign language bookstore and looks out onto the Juche Tower.
You can take a look around the various rooms inside. You are taken around by a local guide who can tell you all about the history of the building and the different areas.
Take a glance around the foreign books they have on offer- including many books in English, Chinese and Russian. Head to one of the lecture theatres, or pop in on a class and test the pupil’s English skills! You can also check out the retro music room. Haven’t seen a tape player in a while? Korea’s got several. You can also enjoy a song or two by everyone’s favourite, The Beatle’s, before heading to your next destination.
It’s a great chance to see the locals get on with their business. Many of them will come here during their student years to study, but there are also many older Koreans who wish to carry on studying or enriching their minds that you can see around.
Due to its great location, there’s also a fabulous view from the top where you can walk out onto the balcony. From here you can enjoy views of the Taedonggang river and Juche Tower, as well as some of the impressive modern buildings in the surrounding area.