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[Eye Plus] Seoul Araetgil: City life, culture and arts found underground

Euljiro, the very center of Seoul with Subway Line 2 passing through, has the longest underground walkway in South Korea.

The 3.3-kliometer underground walkway runs all the way from Seoul City Hall Station, through Euljiro 1-ga Station and on to Dongdaemun History and Culture Park Station.

It is not just a pedestrian tunnel with a lot of commercial shops, but also d a street where culture and arts co-exist. 

Because it is underground, the street offers a pleasant environment to enjoy exhibitions in any weather. So it is known as “Seoul Araetgil” meaning “road below.“

One well-known highlight is the Piano Stairs between City Hall Station and Euljiro 1-ga Station. As people step on each of the stairs, a piano sound plays.

Between Euljiro 1-ga Station and Euljiro 3-ga Station, you can hear “Bobo,” a song about the movements of citizens using the underground sidewalk.

In a space called “Eulji Life Beltway,” art and cultural works depict daily lives in Eulji-ro, cultural values and the story of the area.

At Euljiro 3-ga Station, visitors can see Euljiro Gate, Metro Plaza, Lighting Gallery, Made in Euljiro, and Digital Gallery.

Between Euljiro 3-ga Station and Euljiro 4-ga Station, passersby can also see the past and present brought together in the “I AM Euljiro” art exhibition. 

In a gallery dubbed Euljiro Atelier between Euljiro 4-ga Station and Dongdaemun History and Culture Park Station, artworks are exhibited throughout the year.

“Eulji, There,” another exhibition and relaxation space displays artworks recombining urban scenes in Euljiro.

As part of a city project to spruce up the underground shopping streets, visitors can also see some trick artworks “Seoul Library stairs,” “Training your physical strength with Admiral Yi Sun-sin” and “Lighting a lantern for King Sejong who is reading” offer photo zones. 

Written by Song Su-hyun 
Photographed by Park Hyun-koo