North Korea: Grand People’s Study House

This is perhaps one of the most magnificent and prominent buildings in Pyongyang – smack in the heart of the Kim Il Sung square, architecturally built in the traditional Korean style and it’s massive with the total floor space of 100 thousand square meter and 600 rooms. The building supposedly houses 30 million books, of which a significant portion are books and “on the spot guidance” Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il “produced”. Inside the building – it’s all marble, chandeliers, crystal, and endless study halls where Koreans familiarize themselves with volumes and volumes of works by the leaders (pretty much anything they ever said was seriously documented). (Kim Il Sung is the “great leader”, while Kim Jong Il is the “dear leader). Computer stations give you intranet access (no internet access in North Korea), where you can access some more online masterpieces by the great leaders. You can study English here or read Harry Potter (likely mildly censored?). Or you can go to the audio room and even listen to Beetles (20 more years and electronic music will get here). The observation platform on the top floor offers sweeping views of Pyongyang. Many ordinary Korean men and women all in similar semi-official outfits diligently studying and learning all around the building. Supposedly, one needs to dedicate 90 minutes a day to studying Juche ideology.