The Seoul City Wall was originally built in 1396, following the four main mountains surrounding the center of Seoul: Baegak (Bugaksan), Naksan (Naktasan), Namsan (Mongmyeoksan) and Inwangsan. The wall measures between 5 and 8m high and is 18.6km long and it bears witness to the role played by a city wall in the life of a capital city, still sustained in modern day Seoul.
The Seoul City Wall consisted of eight gates which were originally built between 1396-1398, but only six remain today. The North, South, East, and West gates of the wall are known as the “Four Great Gates” (Sukjeongmun, Heunginjimun, Sungnyemun, Dongeuimun), while the Northwest, Northeast, Southwest, and Southwest gates are known as the “Four Small Gates” (Changuimun, Hyehwamun, Gwanghwamun, Soeuimun).
Address: 03038 283 Yulgok-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul (Jongno 6-ga, Seoul Design Support Center)
Subway: Line3 Anguk Exit 2, take the green 02 bus, get off at Waryong park, and walk for 10 mins. Line 4 Hyehwa Exit 1, get on the green Jongno 08 bus and get off at Myeongnun 3-ga, and walk for 30 mins.
Changuimun, situated on the northwest section of the wall, between mounts Inwangsan and Baegak, is the only auxiliary gate whose gate tower has survived to the present day. This gate tower was destroyed in 1592 during the war against Japan, and was reconstructed in 1741. Changuimun is now also known as Jahamun, since the scenery around the gate seems similar to that of scenic site Jahadong in Gaegyeong, the capital of Goryeo.
Baegangmaru Summit is the highest point of the wall; a stone post inscribed with Baegak, Altitude of 342m stands there. During the first construction project, the whole length of the wall was divided into 97 sections, which were named in the order of the characters in the Thousand Character Classic. The first section was called Cheon (天; sky) and the last one Jo (弔; condolences). Baegakgmaru Submit is the first ‘Cheon (天; sky)’ section of the wall.
January 21, Pine tree
There is a pine tree on the circuit path running down towards Cheongundae from Baegangmaru Summit (top of mountain). This approximately 200-year-old pine tree bears the traces of about fifteen bullets made during the gun battle between the South Korean military and police and the North Korean Special Forces unit, who infiltrated Korea on January 21, 1968. From this spot, a wide panorama between Bukhansan Mountain and Baegak spreads out beyond the wall.
Baegak Gokseong Lookout
Gokseongs are rounded, projecting sections of the wall which exist in Inwangsan and Baegaksan Mountains. Only Baegak Gokseong Lookout is open to the public, and it is one of the best places to admire the mountainous topography of Seoul.
Sukjeongmun, situated on the north side of the wall, is the only remaining gate whose sides are still connected with the wall. Built in 1976, the gate tower was an entirely new addition to the wall.
Bukchon Hanok Village
Bukchon, an old community located between Palace of Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung, was residential area to royal family members as well as the families of high government officials in Joseon. In this area, different types of several hundred Korean traditional houses (hanok) clustered together, including Yun Posun’s House in Anguk-dong, which was built towards the end of the Joseon. Most of the houses were built in the 1910s and 1920s or, in the case of the urban-style hanok, from the 1930s.
Picturesque Bukjeong Village spreads out beyond the Ammun (Secret Path), which is located on the wall towards Seongbuk-dong, near Waryong Park. The village consists of a cluster of some 500 tiled-roofed houses built in the 1960-70s, and is a well-known shooting location for TV dramas and films set in 1960-70s Seoul.
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