On Jangdae Hill that overlooks the picturesque scenery of the Taedong River flowing leisurely through the centre of Pyongyang stands the Pyongyang Students and Children’s Palace.
President Kim Il Sung named the palace.
The President went up the hill to set the site for the palace there. He also gave important instructions on its mission and duty, the forms and methods of operation of hobby groups there and its management and operation including the system of its operation and established a system for the state to supply equipment and accessories to it.
On September 30 1963 the palace was completed on the hill and it was the highest building in the city at that time.
On the day when the opening of the palace was announced in the presence of the President the Rodong Sinmun reported, “The students, who were dancing as they sang Song of General Kim Il Sung, waved bundles of flowers and shouted hurrah at the top of their voice to express their feelings of joy and happiness. The happy singing of the children who are growing vigorously under the brilliant rays of the Workers’ Party of Korea reverberated through Jangdae Hill, echoing across the streets of Pyongyang….”
The new history of Jangdae Hill started like that with the inauguration of the palace.
The palace is an extracurricular education base for youth and children, a general school for preparing them mentally, morally and physically.
In front of the palace stands the statue of President Kim Il Sung with Children’s Union members in both of his sides, flanked by and fronted with group sculptures depicting the happy life of schoolchildren growing while learning with nothing to envy in the world.
The palace has over 90 rooms for different kinds of hobby groups covering social science, natural science, art and literature and all other fields.
It also has a theatre with an 800-odd-seat auditorium, a gymnasium with an accommodation capacity of over 500, an outdoor practice ground, a library, etc.
A ten-storey building of the palace is topped with an observatory.
The palace can accommodate over 5 000 schoolchildren a day and children attend various kinds of art, sports and sci-tech research groups there to develop their talents as they want.
It widely organizes various forms of mass activities for members of the groups to develop their ability to put what they learn to practical use.
Therefore, there regularly take place different interesting activities such as performances by members of the art group in the theatre, fierce competitions by those of the sports group in the gym and quiz and other intelligence competitions in the fauna and flora museum.
The thick visitor’s book of the palace contains the impressions of many visitors to it. A foreigner wrote in the book:
“Can such a country like the DPRK be found elsewhere? Anyone who comes here with empty hands leaves it as a talent. I envy them. I wish I could be reborn as a child in Korea. This palace seems to represent the image of Korea. I can visualize how Korea will develop in the future.”
Jangdae Hill still resounds with happy singing of schoolchildren, the song We Are the Happiest in the World sung by the kings of the country.