South Korea in the Perspective of a Filipino Expatriate

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Sungnyemun Gate-National Treasure Number 1 of Korea

This is Sungnyemun Gate, this is not JUST a gate, it may look like one of the many ancient structures you can see in Seoul, but this one is different and special because this is considered the National Treasure number 1 of Korea.

Sungnyemun Gate in Korea
Aside of it being the National Treasure Number 1 of Korea, what makes this gate awesome for me is because it stands the test of time. Let me tell you what happened to this gate and what are the challenges it conquered.

 It was built in 1398, repaired in 1448, and in 1907 it was destroyed by the Japanese, during the Korean war in 1950s the gate was completely destroyed and torn apart. Korea could have stopped right there and forget about the gate, but it was repaired during the 1960s despite the great damage. Through the effort of Koreans, the gate was reassembled and rebuilt. In 2008, the gate faced another challenge, it was a fire set by an arsonist. The fire consumed the gate and again it was destroyed for the nth time. Take that!

However, the gate could be really an important symbol for Korea that they did not give up on rebuilding it. For more than five years after the fire incident, Sungnyemun gate is now standing stronger than before at the heart of Namdaemun Market proud of the scars and burns and stitches it has acquired from the challenges of time. If you happen to pass by Namdaemun Market, you will see this astonishing gate.

In front of the legendary Sungnyemun gate which is now a tourist attraction in the city
What is with Sungnyemun gate anyway? Why it was built in the first place and why people keep rebuilding it everytime it falls?

Sungnyemun gate or also known as Namdaemun gate is one of the four major gates of Seoul. I have already explained before that there are actually 8 gates in Seoul, 4 major gates and 4 minor gates and I have already shared one of the minor gates which is the Gwanghuimun gate, you can read about the article HERE. Anyway, during the Joseon period, the King came to this gate to pray and do some rituals everytime there are calamities and other natural disasters. This is where the King used to summon good weather condition from the Gods. This gate played a vital role in the life of Koreans a long long time ago and they believe it deserve to be preserved.

I like the structure of this gate, it looks sturdy and at the same time beautiful.

Closer look at the Namdaemun Gate
I like the structure especially the arched entrance in the middle. As you can see, the structure looks so strong and it has two stories.

We don't know what lies ahead to this gate, but as it is standing tall and proud right now in the middle of the city, I guess we could just stare and enjoy the presence of this large castle gate stone structure.

To visit Sungnyemun gate via subway, take subway line number 4 to Hoehyeon station, go to exit number 5, turn right and go straight until the big road, turn right and then go straight until you reach Sungnyemun gate.

8 comments:

  1. Impressive structure! Isa sa mga gusto kong puntahang bansa ang Korea.

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  2. wow. ang galing ng pagkakagawa! matatag na matatag! subok na ng panahon :)

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  3. Madalas kong puntahan ang metro bank at lagi kong nkikita yan. Hindi ko alam n yan pla yan. Aha

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  4. Will visit Korea this October 2014, and I'll soon have my own photo with this gate on the background :-) can't wait and excited much

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  5. i want to visit Korea someday and this place will definitely be on my "to-go" list.

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  6. I should start saving money so I can see this national treasure in person.

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  7. It's great that they didn't give up on rebuilding this historic structure after all its been through. I hope that Filipinos would think the same towards historic structures.

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  8. Will add this on my bucketlist. I've never been to South Korea, though heard a lot of things about this place.

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