Saturday, June 25, 2011

Jangseogak reopens

From Joseon royal library to global archive, Jangseogak reopens on July 5

The Jangseogak Archives which hold the time-honored royal records of the Joseon Kingdom (1392-1910) will reopen on July 5 in a new building at the Academy of Korean Studies (AKS) in Bundang, Gyeonggi Province. This is the first time for Jangseogak to have its own building since its inception.

King Gojong attempted to establish a royal archive to house some 100,000 volumes of books scattered around various institutions around the nation, which included the annals of the past kings and other royal house-related records under the name of the “Imperial House Book Collection” in 1908. However, as Korea was forcibly annexed by Japan one year later in 1910, the project was abandoned.

In February 1911, a new government agency called “Iwangjik” was created by the Japanese colonial government and took over the management of the Imperial House Book Collection. In June of the same year, the library department of Iwangjik set up a library named “Iwangjik Jangseogak,” and was housed inside Changdeok Palace in 1915. All books held by the institution were relocated to this four-story building, located southeast of Nakseonjae in the palace. The library was named “Jangseogak” from 1918, when a wooden tablet bearing the name was hung on the front of the building. The Jangseogak collection was moved to Changgyeong Palace in 1936.
Then, the library was relocated permanently from the Cultural Heritage Administration to its present address in the AKS in 1981 but it still didn’t have its own building.

Since then, the library has performed the dual function of preserving and managing invaluable classical texts from the royal archives of the Joseon Kingdom and carrying out research on those texts in order to disseminate historical knowledge to a broader audience.
The records and documents stored in the Jangseogak archival collection deal with the full spectrum of activities of the royal court of the Joseon Kingdom, ranging from writings on the culture of the nobility and royal power to edicts and state policies.

The collection encompasses over 90,000 classical texts from the royal court, along with some 40,000 texts from the private sector.
Now, the collection has been moved to the new space and is ready to reopen with better preservation facilities. The construction of the new building began on April 6, 2009 and was completed in May this year with some 22.6 billion won in construction costs.

The reopening of Jangseogak is meant to recover its dignity as a royal library after it experienced the vicissitudes of Korean history.
Jangseogak is the second largest archive that houses royal documents after Gyujanggak. However, it is different from the latter in that it holds more private material which is a key factor to show the life and culture of the noble class beside the royal clans.

Since the 1990s, the academy has focused on collecting the private material from the Joseon noble clans nationwide and currently it holds some 40,000 texts. Private owners have donated ancient documents, which have been handed down from their ancestors to the archive in the hope that the material will be used for further research.

“We’re different from Gyujanggak because we have a large collection from the private sector. Although the royal documents are priceless, the private collection that displays the historical value of the then elite class through the old documents without filtering is as important as the royal manuscripts and we can study them from various perspectives,” Yi Wan-woo, director of the library, said in an interview with The Korea Times.

He pointed to the “Jijeong Jogyeok” (Zhizheng Tiaogeor Code of the Yuan Dynasty), the original copy which was recovered in Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province, in 2002. Highly valuable as an academic resource and cultural property, it is also an important historical reference for an analysis of daily life and the study of the legal system, customs, and language of Joseon as well as Goryeo, under the influence of Yuan.

“The collection of Jijeong Jogyeok is the biggest achievement of our institution. Without our efforts to recover and preserve the private collection, such an invaluable asset might have been buried somewhere and remained unnoticed,” he said.

Along with the reopening of the library, the director said he will launch the “21st-Century Jangseogak Research Project” this year.
“If the construction of the new building of Jangseogak is the reinforcement of the hardware, this project will be the supplement of the software. This project will include finding ancient documents scattered around the world and ultimately lead to the establishment of a global archive by digitalizing them so that scholars researching Korean studies worldwide can have easier access to original content,” he said.

Along with the globalization of the digital archive, the academy will also make them familiar to the public for education and use them as other cultural sources.

For the project, Yi said that two billion won will be put into the project annually for the next five years, totaling up to some 10 billion won. “This is the largest project ever taken by our academy,” he said.

As mounting interest in Korean culture has been ignited from the K-pop boom in Europe, it is necessary to build up the basic resources of humanities studies and spiritual ground to maintain the trend.

“To share our products and solid roots of Korean traditional and historical culture with people, I hope we develop our studies and research,” he said.

Jangseogak collection


Registered as a UNESCO Memory of the World, the royal protocols document state rituals and proceedings of various events held at the royal court of the Joseon Kingdom. In beautiful bindings, colorful paintings, illustrations and calligraphy show the essence of the Joseon Royal Court’s culture. The archive includes “Gyeongmo Palace Uigwe” (The Royal Protocols of the Gyeongmo Palace Shrine) created in 1777-1800 as a handwritten manuscript and a series of uigwe records documenting protocols observed during rituals held in Gyeongmo Palace, a shrine dedicated to the memory of Prince Sado, during the reign of King Jeongjo.

Dongui Bogam

Listed as the UNESCO Memory of the World, “Dongui Bogam” (Principles and Practice of Eastern Medicine) is an encyclopedic medical book written in 1613 by a court physician, Heo Jun. It was published by the Medical Center for the Royal Family of the Joseon Kingdom. The academy currently holds 25 woodblock print volumes, along with its “hangeul” (Korean alphabet) script version. It was republished in Japan and China, during the 18th century and thereafter.

Royal genealogy of the Joseon Kingdom

The genealogical records of the Joseon Royal House are the main reference for the identification of the lineages of its kings and queens and their relatives, and the reconstruction of their family trees. Currently, 1,256 books on the genealogy of the Joseon Kingdom are found in the collection of Jangseogak. These include “Seonwollok” (Record of the Wellspring of Fine Jade) and the sole extant copy of “Donnyeong Bocheop” (Royal Genealogy of the Joseon Dynasty), “Seonwon Gyebo Giryak” (Royal Genealogy of the Joseon Kingdom) written in 1882-1897, “Jongbusi” (Office of the Clan Register) and genealogical records of Joseon rulers from King Taejo to King Sunjong, including King Taejo’s fourth to first-generation ancestors.

Kings’ writings and calligraphy

The writings and calligraphy by the kings offer special glimpses into the learning and scholarship of the past rulers of Joseon, and their literary and calligraphic taste and levels. “Yeolseongeopil” (Handwritings of Past Kings) in 1722-1723, Gyoseogan (Office of Editorial Review) edition, rubbings and an album of handwritings by 11 Joseon rulers, including King Munjong, King Sejo and King Sukjong, are the examples.

Code of the Yuan Dynasty

This is a code of law created in Yuan China during the reign of Emperor Zhizheng. The code of law was brought to Korea during the late Goryeo period and was used throughout the Joseon Kingdom, as a reference in legislative activities and diplomatic affairs. The copy in the collection of Jangseogak is currently the only surviving copy of this code of law in the world, and was discovered among old family documents of the head house of the Gyeongju Son Clan.

Classical novels in Hangeul

Classical novels in Hangeul, previously housed in Nakseonjae inside Changgyeong Palace, were the narrative genre widely read among court ladies. They often have a beautiful binding and are written in fine calligraphy. “Nakseongbiryong” (The Falling Star and the Flying Dragon) is a handwritten manuscript while a classical novel telling the epic account of the life of a Chinese hero, written in typical palace-style hangeul calligraphy are representative of the collection.

Source: Korea Times or

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Korea shares development knowledge through WFA program

Since 2009, the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) has been carrying out the “World Friend Advisors” (WFA) program as part of its comprehensive development assistance program, “World Friends Korea,” which integrates international cooperation projects from government organizations into one single group.

Under the WFA program, KOICA has been sending retired government officials and experts overseas to share their knowledge and experience with developing countries in order to contribute to economic and social development.

Last year, KOICA sent a total of 45 overseas for the WFA projects.

In the first half of 2011, KOICA selected 14 people to spend five days at KOICA’s training center in Yangjae in southern Seoul for training in international development cooperation, IT education, cultural understanding and adapting to local cultures.

After completing the education program, the participants will head to El Salvador, Tanzania, Mongolia, Ecuador, Pakistan, Indonesia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Bangladeshi, Rwanda to provide help and advice in various sectors, including education, agriculture, energy, urban development, forestry, vocational training, human resources management, election management, health and welfare and local development.

The members of the delegation include a former university professor, a retired doctor, a researcher, retired government officers and a former military officer.

In a June 12 interview with the Weekly Gonggam, published by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, delegation member Ahn Pyeong-guk, a retired officer of the National Election Commission, said he always wanted to share his knowledge with others.

Ahn said he was happy for the chance to go to Mongolia because he decided to share what he has with others in return for all that he has received as a citizen of Korea. In preparation, he has been studying English and Chinese.

Oriental medicine doctor Han Gyu-eon currently teaches at the University of Colombo in Sri Lanka through the WFA (Yonhap News)
Meanwhile, Yonhap News reported on June 14 that another WFA member, Oriental medicine doctor Han Gyu-eon, has been teaching medicine in Sri Lanka.

Han was firstly dispatched to Sri Lanka by the Korean government in 2004 and worked there for six years. After a short trip back home, he again headed to Sri Lanka in November last year and has been teaching acupuncture at the University of Colombo ever since.

During his first stay in Sri Lanka, Han taught acupuncture to more than 100 local doctors for six years while working at the Korean Clinic at the National Ayurvedic Teaching Hospital in Colombo. He also treated more than 120,000 patients.

Ayurveda is a traditional medical practice that originated in India. In Sri Lanka, a doctor’s license in Ayurveda requires six years of study, including a five-year university course and a one-year internship.

In a telephone interview with Yonhap, Han said Korean acupuncture is playing a “bridging role” between Korea and Sri Lanka, as more Sri Lankan government officials and local Ayuvedic doctors expand their understanding of acupuncture.


Blow Away the Heat in Caves!

It was unusual that temperature in May recorded 28 degree in Celsius. It made us really worried about the coming summer. Well, it was right. Why don’t we go on a trip to a cool place? Where can be a better place rather than the ocean or a mountain that has many things to see and even has the freshness of early autumn?
Today we would like to proudly introduce the Korea’s beauty, Caves. There have been a lot geographical changes in this peninsula, which formed many magnificent sites in Korea. It might be a privilege for all of us in Korea to be able to enjoy it.
There are several kinds of caves. Limestone caves are formed by the rainwater which dissolves the limestone layer. Sea caves are formed by abrasion of the ocean wave. Lava caves are formed by lava flow. Artificial caves are formed on a specific purpose. There are more limestone caves and sea caves in Korea. Stalagmites, stalactites and stone pillars are so beautiful that more and more people keep visiting the caves. And this will guide you to explore the caves which are the gifts from the Mother Nature. Let’s take a look.

Korea’s only theme cave, Hwaam

(Source: Kookmin Ilbo)

Hwaam Cave located in Jeongsun, Gangwon-do is recognized as one of the great caves in Korea. It was listed in 1980 as the monument No. 33. Most of all, it is highly recognized for its beauty and it is also one of the eight beauties in Jeongsun, Gangwon-do. It is the only themed cave. The theme presents the ‘Meeting of the Gold and the Nature’. What makes it unique is that, Hwaam Cave has both coal mine and natural cave. To get to the starting point of the cave, you should take a shuttle train. You will truly feel the theme of the ‘Meeting of Gold and Nature’.
The tour length of Hwaam Cave is 1,803 meters and the tour takes approximately one and half hour. You can see some chapters in the cave. The chapters consist of ‘History’, ‘365 along with Gold Line’, ‘Wonderland’, ‘Gold world’, ‘Nature Wonder’. The cave was discovered while mining the gold, so there are many displays and exhibits inside are connected with Gold mine. You can see the times of mining gold and a gold vein. It is quite interesting to see gold bars. In addition, there are some displays showing various kinds of gold mines, the use of gold and the history of gold. It is already beyond the museum. For the children who easily get bored, there is a chapter of ‘Gold Ghost and Silver Ghost in Wonderland’ which are mascots of this cave. The Wonderland shows how to mine gold and make gold products from the children’s perspective. Actually, there are more family visitors in a cave tour.
You can also enjoy a geological beauty. Hundreds of stalactites hanging on the ceiling are spectacular. It looks like a curtain hung over the cave. It is not fair just to say “beautiful”, but it is natural to say “beyond the expression”.

Mystic geologic cave, Gosu

(Source: Newsis)

Many people said this Gosu Cave, located in Danyang, Chungcheongbuk-do, is genuinely the best of all. Because there are many beautiful rocks, stalagmites, stalactites and stone pillars.
Gosu cave made of limestone layers is listed No. 256 as a natural monument. There are various creatures by the cave, which has high academic value. It is 1,200 meters long. However travelers have an access only to 600 meters inside for environmental conservation.
However, once you enter, you will definitely be amazed. It is so beautiful that you won’t be disappointed at not seeing the whole cave. Stalactites and stalagmites which grown up and down for a long period of time finally has become the limestone pillars. With that, you will feel the eternity of time.
The ‘Gom Bawi (Bear rock)’ that looks like a roaring bear is a mystic nature itself which makes you keep looking at it. ‘Cheondang SeongByeok (the Wall of the Castle of Heaven)’ has beautiful stalactites, which are very popular among many travelers who want to take a picture of them. In fact, it is very amazing to know that it takes 5 years and even 10 years for stalactites to grow up to 1 cm. Gosu Cave is made 5.4 million years ago. Once again, you can feel the eternity of time. During the journey, you will see a rock called a statue of the Virgin Mary. The rock looks like the Virgin Mary holding hands, kneeling and praying.
Before you go to Gosu Cave, there are several things you should remember. As the entrance road is very narrow, you have to be careful. A pathway inside of the cave is very narrow and steep. It is also very humid, so you might feel as if you were in the rain. It has 95 percent to 97 percent humidity, so that you’d better prepare the raincoat.

Hwanseon Cave, the undiscovered jewel in Asia

(Source: Yonhap News Agency)

“The largest limestones cave in Asia”. With this one sentence, we can recognize the magnificent status of Hwanseon Cave.
Hwanseon cave is located in Dei-ri, Samcheok, Gwangwon-do. Dei-ri means big ears. There are six caves in Dei-ri region. Only two caves, Daegeum Cave and Hwanseon cave, are open to travelers.
It takes long time to get to Hwanseon Cave. For this, they equipped mono rail for visitors, which used to take 30~ 40 minutes on foot. If you want to take a breath of mountain, walking is also recommended.
Hwanseon Cave is much bigger than any other caves. It has many valleys like small falls here and there uplifting a very unique atmosphere. Cave coral is the most popular place. It is hard to find anywhere in the world, so that many foreigners visit the Cave. There is an English information sign. Cave coral grows up on the wall where water comes out. Cave coral is also called Cave Popcorn since it has a similar look. Many people capture the splendid scenery that looks like a King’s throne. We hope you to take a close look at this throne.
The cave is good for travel in both summer and winter. Cool in summer, warm in winter. How about watching magnificent view and relaxing your mind in cave tour during the summer that made us tired and stressed?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Animals in Korean folklore

Animals are more than just creatures of the forests, fields and mountains. They have a long an important symbolic connection to the land and the people of that land, and they have a prominent place in Korean folklore.

Even Korea’s most prominent creation myth gives animals a central role. According to legend, the lord of heaven, Hwanin, sent his son, Hwanung, to earth to teach humans laws, agriculture, and other skills. Hwanung was approached by a bear and a tiger who both wished to become humans. He told them that if they wanted to turn into humans, they would have to sequester themselves in a cave for 100 days, staying out of the sunlight and eating only garlic and mugwort. The tiger gave up and left, but the bear did as told and was turned into a human woman, who then married Hwanung and gave birth to his son, Dangun. Dangun later became king. The legend probably stems from the totem animals of different Korean tribes.

Tigers show up a lot in Korean folklore, sometimes as dangerous and terrifying figures but also as foolish or funny animals. In the story of how the sun and moon came to be, a tiger eats the mother of two children, then tries to trick the children into letting the tiger inside their house. The two children climb up a tree and then are rescued by a magical rope that descends from the heavens, where they turn into the sun and moon. The tiger tries to follow them, but the rope breaks and the tiger falls to its death.

Another story is about a very hungry tiger who eavesdrops on a woman and her baby. The young mother kept telling her baby to be quiet, saying that many dangerous animals were outside the house, but the baby kept crying. First the mother says “There’s a bear!” Next she says, “There’s a tiger!” Finally, she says “Fine! Here’s a persimmon!” The tiger, not knowing what a persimmon was, thought it was something even more dangerous than itself, and ran away frightened.

Foxes are also popular animals in Korean stories, especially magical foxes like the gumiho. The gumiho is a legendary fox with many tails (usually nine.) The gumiho can change its shape, and often turns into a beautiful woman to try and seduce men so it can eat its favorite snack – human livers!

Koreans have special sayings about magpies. Supposedly, if a magpie sits on the roof of your house in the morning and sings, you’ll be visited by a good friend. If the magpie comes in the afternoon, it won’t be a friend who visits, but they will eat a lot! The most dangerous is when magpies visit at night, which means a thief will come.

Rabbits are often seen as clever, trickster animals. One of Korea’s pansori songs is about a dragon king who lives under the sea. The dragon king fell ill, and was told that he needed to eat a rabbit liver if he wanted to live, so he sent out one of his turtle minions to go bring one back. The turtle found a rabbit, and tricked it into coming with him by promising he would live in a beautiful palace under the sea. When the rabbit figures out what the turtle really intends, he lies and says he left his liver back in the forest. The turtle turns around and takes the rabbit back to get the liver, and the rabbit runs away to safety.

Source : The Korea Blog

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The famous Indian Contemporary painter MF Husain passes away in London

MF Husain, India's best known contemporary painter, has died in London.At 95, he was active and had lots of painting left in him.

Husain had been in exile since 2006, when he was attacked by rightist groups angry with his portrayal of Hindu deities. Last year, he was offered Qatari citizenship. But his heart remained in India, and in interviews, spoke fondly of what this country meant to him.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Dokdo City to be built on Ulleung-do

North Gyeongsang Province announced on April 6 that it will build a “Dokdo City” that will feature history, facts, and information about Dokdo at Buk-myeon, Ulleung-do, by 2016.

Dokdo, also known as the Liancourt Rocks, is a group of small islets in the East Sea, located about 87.4 kilometers to the southeast of Ulleung-do.

Various facilities and museums will be created in Dokdo City to promote the island, including the An Yong-bok Memorial Hall, Ocean Youth Center, Volunteer Guards Memorial Hall, Ecology Museum and Ecological Experience Hall.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Hongdae Free Market marks 10th anniversary

Hongdae Free Market, an outdoor marketplace dedicated to showcasing artworks and creative design items made by local artisans and artists, marks its tenth year on June 4. Initiated in 2002 as part of cultural events celebrating the Korea-Japan World Cup, this alternative art market full of free spirits and hidden charms has become one of the most frequented cultural events in the Hongik University district.

The “Free Market” serves as a live platform of communication between artists and citizens, featuring new art and whimsical, hard-to-find hand-made items by the area’s most talented artists and designers, rather than the secondhand items of a typical flea market.

The “Living and Art Creative Center,” which has run the weekly market for the last decade, is hosting a number of events in celebration. An exhibition currently taking place at the Cultural Complex called “Pain (bread),” pays tribute to the market. An archive of documents, photographs, recordings and videos of the history of the Free Market is on view to commemorate the event, which helped many young artists to launch their careers.

Saturday afternoon is a step back in time with “Afternoon Stage,” a special series of open-air concerts from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. with different indie bands and singers, including “Portable Lollipop.” On the same day, Club “Pain” will open at 7 p.m.

The open air art market is open every Saturday afternoon from March to November at the playground in front of Hongik University. Advance registration is mandatory for vendors. For more information, please visit the official website at: (Korean only).


Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Urban agriculture

Imagine having fresh, healthy vegetables on your table right from kitchen garden, adding green to gray, dreary city.

Residents of Gangdong District in eastern Seoul can have their own garden, full of fresh vegetables.

The district launched environment-friendly urban agriculture project last week, promoting a vegetable garden for a house campaign.

Aiming to fight climate change and prevent urban heat island effect, the district encourages its residents to raise their own vegetable.

At the proclamation ceremony of the project on March 8, urban agriculture experts introduced how to make small indoor gardens with garbage furniture or polystyrene boxes and distributed seedlings for free.

The ward office has developed urban vegetable patches in Dunchon-dong and plans to expand the patches to Gangil, Goduk and Amsa area this year.

In the long-term, the district will create a museum of agriculture and Agri-park, combining farming experience with tourism.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The South Korean Gochang appeared in Mischelin guide!

(Source: Joongang Ilbo)

Have you heard the Mischelin guide? It is the most well known guidebook which is published by Tire company Mischelin in 1900. Actually the Mischelin is the renowned magazine that grades restaurants, which of the grading system is called 'Red Guide'. It hasn't been a long since it adopted the 'Green Guide' system which now grades the tourists' attraction. Well, it became sensational that Mischelin Co. will publish a 450 page of 'Mischelin guide-Green'.

The number of places in Korea mentioned in Mischelin guide are 23. There, we can find a rather unexpected name among other familia names, Dolmen Museum, which is located in Gochang, Jeollabuk-do. There are few people know where the Dolmen museum is actually located. In addition, not many people know that the dolmen is such an attractive place to visit. Isn't it good enough to visit this place? You will be surprised to know that it recorded the highest score, three stars. Gochang has the old heritage but it doesn't mean that it stuck in the past. Let's travel to Gochang.

Gochang Dolmen Museum

(Source : Korea Tourism Organization)

Dolmen is more than an tomb in the dim past. But before we begin, we need to learn the history of dolmen.

It first appeared at around the time when the Stone Age was shifting to the Bronze Age. Various tools and weapons used to be made of stone before the era, however, the number of people who got an access to bronze and copper increased, they became more powerful than the others who didn't have those tools. As the bronze and copper enabled them to have power to control the others, the concept of hierarchy, ruler, state were born in their society.

Dolmen was made to visualize the death of rulers. Goindol, Korean name of Dolmen, was originated from the word 'Goida' that means 'support(something heavy on it)'.

In December 2000, Gochang Dolmen was listed in the UNESCO World Natural Heritage. Since then, as part of an effort to preserve and maintain the dolmens, the government built the dolmen park and museum. You can't have the experience anywhere else but in Gochang.

There are so many attractions in the Dolmen museum. Dolmen museum provides not only an overall introduction of dolmen, but also the glimpse of the life of those days. You'll see the old ancestors' life in the hut, and also learn how they buried the dead, how they cremated, and how dolmen was created. There are the prehistoric village, yard and dolmen model for experience next to the museum. You can try dragging a real size stone for building up the dolmen, putting the logs on the bottom.

It is 30 minutes distance between the museum and the dolmen sites. You can take a sightseeing train if you want. There are 30,000 dolmens in Korea and 2,000, which is 10% of the total number, are in Gochang. When you stand up on the dolmen field, you'll be amazed at their existence over 3,000 years.

A beautiful temple of Goryeo dynasty, Seonun Temple and Dosolam

(Source : Korea Tourism Organization)

There is a poetry 'Seonun-sa(temple) East' written by Seo Jeong-ju born in Gochang. Here is his poetry.

"I went to see camellia of Seonun-sa but it was too early to see. I just saw camellia of last year that remained in the song by the bar hostess in her Yukjabaegi rhythm" He wrote it with sorrow for unseen camellia. There is a song 'Seonun-sa' sung by Song Chang-sik. He praised the beauty of camellia. Like this, Seonun-sa is a beautiful but hidden attraction of Gochang.
As it appeared in literature and songs, Seonun temple has a unique beauty with beautiful nature. In particular, Seonun temple is famous for the beauty of camellias. Camellia wasn't planted for beauty, but for preventing the temple from fire. But they soon reached up to 2000 and have changed the forest into a beautiful hills. The Camellia forest represents the beauty of Seonun temple which is filled with red flowers in spring.

In addition, the scenery of the temple including the main building and Sumakjae will make you feel good, even carrying the scent of the temple. Also temple bell is enlisted as tangible cultural heritage of Chungcheonbuk-do. When you go up for half an hour after looking around Seonun temple, you will meet the magnificent beaut, Dosol-am. There you will understand why ancestors considered Mt. Seonun as another Mt. Geumgang, which is the most beautiful mountains in Korea. You will be fascinated at its rocks and trees. Do not miss the landscape in summe as well!

(Source: Yonhap News)

Maaebul, a carved buddha in mountain rocks, is the finest in Dosol-am enlisted as a national treasure No. 1200. It is overwhelming to see it which is embossed and engraved in harmony. 15.6 meters high and 8.48 meters wide of massive Maaebul is one of three carved buddha in size in Korea. There is a shrine in the pit of its stomach. In general, a shrine is used to store buddha statue or holy things. However, people believed that there was a secret book telling the kingdom's destiny in shrine. One day, an officer of Dong-hak, Son Wha-jung took it out. We still don't know whereabouts. It would be quite interesting to see Maaebul, imagining the event. After looking around Dosol-am, you will see a 600 year old pine tree which is a natural heritage No. 354. This is the end of journey to Seonun temple. There is a saying that there could be someone who has never been to Seonun temple, but no one visits only once, which means you would come again anyway.

Living together with past and present. Gochang's fortress and festival

(Source:: Korea Tourism Organization)

Did you know three old fortresses in Korea? Haemi- fortress, Nakan- fortress, Gochang- fortress. Haemi- fortess is well-known for history that many christians sacrificed their life. Nakan- fortress is well known for cool staying over place. However Gochang gives you a different image from the history. Actually, Gochang fortress was built by commoners to defend Korea from Japan. After the era, Gochang fortress was abandoned so many years but fortunately restored in 1976.

When it was repaired, the stone from nature was used in order to bring in the nature itself. It's not completely restored but a guest house, jail and several buildings were built, which is quite breezing to travellers' mind.

When you walk along fortress of the Mt. Seonun, you will feel the fragrance of mountains and the magnificent huge landscape of mountains.

There are some nice roads. We can enjoy flowers and trees such as pine trees and bamboo trees. Gochang has a festival every year. Gochang has a big festival of Bokbunja in June. It also has a big festival of Watermelon in July. There is a saying that if you have Gochang- watermelon, you can't try any watermelon. Gochang watermelon is better than any others. Why don't you come over to the festival?

Gochang the 'hometown of nature, culture and happiness' where history stays alive

'Home town of nature, culture and happiness' is the slogan of Gochang. You will finally understand why the Michelin Guide included the dolmens of the Bronze Age, and the Seonun temple and Dosolam of Buddhism culture in the Goryeo dynasty.

Indulging in a variety of attractions of the Joseon Dynasty of Gochang is attraction itself. Gochang has the history and big event everyday. From the prehistoric Dolmen to modern day festival, Gochang has so many attractions.