What better way to learn about a country, than through its history, discovering and learning all the fascinating facts about how the country used to be and how much it has changed now. Korea is a great country with many historical landmarks either in the middle of or overlooking cities. And if you or anyone you know is thinking of taking a trip to South Korea, and is interested in learning about the eventful history that made the country what it is today, here’s a quick article about 5 Korean historical landmarks that will help you out!
Hwaseong Fortress (수원 화성)
The site has been designated by UNESCO as Historical Site No.3 and the vast space makes for the perfect day out. This fortress was constructed between the years of 1974 to 1976 and was built to display King Jeongjo’s power and pay respects towards his deceased father, Prince Sado. The fortress is surrounded by a thick brick wall that stretches for around 5.52 km (around 3.42 miles) and is the only remaining walled fortress in the country. There were originally four large gates - Paldalmun South, Janganmun North, Changnyongmun East and Hwaseomun West- to enter the fortress. However, there are now a number of newer gates that have been added for tourism purposes. It is said that the architectural structure resembles that of both Asian and Western designs. Of the original 48 facilities that were inside this area, 41 of them still remain while the Suwoncheon River flows right through it. The fortress itself, over the years, has had many renovations due to damage done by past battles and the harsh effects of weather and aging.
Gyeongbokgung Palace Seoul (경복궁)
If you’ve done any research on South Korea’s historical designations, you’ve definitely heard of this place. Built all the way back in 1395 in Northern Seoul, it is the largest of the five grand palaces that were built during the Joseon dynasty. However, after the area was destroyed by a fire during the Imjin War, (1592–1598) it was left abandoned until finally, in the 19th century, it was restored down to all of its 7,700 rooms. It was partially damaged again in the early 20th century by Imperial Japan, but again has recently been gradually restored to its original form. It is known as one of the most beautiful of the palaces in Korea and, it is definitely worth a visit!
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Changdeokgung Palace ( 창덕궁)
This historical marvel lies to the east of the Gyeongbokgung Palace. It was built in 1405 and, after the destruction of Gyeongbokgung, was used as primary royal residence until the 20th century. Tourists can walk on the very grounds that royalty once walked upon, and experience the palace’s beautiful rear garden where kings rested, and has a lovely tranquil feeling to it. If you have had a busy week, packed full of adventure, this would definitely be perfect way to wind down and relax.
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This temple is located along the slopes of Tohamsan Mountains and is said to have been built all the way back in the Silla Kingdom in 528. It has been dubbed by the Korean Government as ‘Historic and Scenic Site No.1’ and is considered as an outstanding example of the “Golden Age” of Buddhist art in the Silla Kingdom. This temple has undergone multiple renovations and have been victim to robberies in the past, but is now a great tourist attraction and is surrounded by some stunning scenery.
Korean Folk VIllage (한국민속촌)
This village is perfect for tourists who want to experience the history of Korea from the Joseon era. Here, you can find some village schools, noblemen’s houses and workshops. There are seasonal events held here such as learning martial arts in horse back, traditional wedding ceremonies and much more to remind us of how people used to live before the Industrial Age. And don’t worry, food is close by! There are some markets around the area that sell some more traditional foods such as, Jeungpyeon (Rice Wine Cake) and Injeolmi (Sweet Rice Cake). People who visit here can surely expect to travel back in time as if they are walking through the streets of the village during the Joseon era.
Got any trips to Korea planned? Well, I hope this blog has helped you to fill your itinerary with some fun and relaxing places that are iconic to the history of the country. If you’ve ever visited any of these places before, or have visited somewhere that hasn’t been mentioned, feel free to let us know in the comments!