[K-ROAD] Rediscovery of the Seoul Metropolitan Subway – Line 4 Hyehwa Station Trip (2)
[by Cho Yoon Jung] Trip guide ‘K-ROAD’ will introduce important stations to provide a more comfortable trip to the capital and will also present trip courses. Continuing from the last article is the fifth major stop on Line 4, Hyehwa Station.
▶ Hyehwa, A place that has an old atmosphere
Known as the cultural arts mecca among youth, the vicinity of Hyehwa Station also has places where the old atmosphere remains as is.
Going away from downtown Daehakro, one can see the old Naksan Park, Fortress Wall of Seoul, Changgyeonggung, for a dynamic mood. If we met the youth’s Hyehwa in the previous article with Daehakro, Marronnier Park, Arko Art Center, and Ihwa Mural Village, then with this article, let’s go on a trip to vintage Hyehwa.
▍ Protecting Seoul for 600 years (Naksan Park, Fortress Wall of Seoul)
The Fortress Wall of Seoul was built in 1396 shortly after the founding of Joseon on the border of Hanyang to fortify the city. From Joseon Hanyang to present-day Seoul, it is not an exaggeration to say it has spent 600 years protecting Seoul.
At the Fortress Wall of Seoul, the Naksan Park we all know is there. The shape of the mountain looks like a camel, which is where the name ‘Naksan’ comes from. Even up to several years ago, apartments went halfway up the mountain. During the Japanese Occupation, parts of Naksan were destroyed and somewhere along modernization, apartments and homes started to appear. In 1999, Seoul started a movement to return Naksan to its original historical state, transforming it into Naksan Park in 2002.
If you follow the signs leading to Naksan Park from Hyehwa Station Exit 2, the first steps in Naksan Park will be the central square. Here, Naksan’s history can be seen in the Naksan Exhibition.
Following the restored old fortress wall, walk along the historic trail. Here, one can see the city in all directions so there are many people who capture the scenery in their cameras.
There are many photo opportunities at the bottom path of Naksan Park. A gentleman and dog walking towards the sky, a couple holding hands and looking at each other and other sculptures are there. This place was also used as a filming location along with Ihwa Mural Village. In particular, it became famous in 2012 SBS drama ‘Rooftop Prince.’ The end of this path leads to Ihwa Mural Village. (photo by: Han Ji Min’s Facebook)
* Address: 41 Naksan-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
* How to get there: Line 4 Hyehwa Station Exit 2 – Follow the sign that says ‘This way to Naksan Park’ on the left of Marronnier Park
▍ Shining sadness of a palace (Changgyeonggung)
Changgyeonggung was originally build as Suganggung by King Sejong as a place for Taejong but became a royal villa by Seongjong. Since it is a secondary palace, the standard would be to have it face south, but it is the only one that looks east. However, on the same level as Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung became an important part of Joseon’s history only because it was adjacent to Gyeonbokgung.
Changgyeonggung had a lot of hurt. It went through several big fires and was heavily damaged during the Japanese Occupation. In 1909, the Japanese destroyed the palace and installed a zoo and botanical garden.
Based on its architecture format and scheme, Changgyeonggung was a comparably freely built palace. At the center of Changgyeonggung is Honghwamun, the main gate, and Myeongjeongjeon, the main hall, but the left and right of the buildings are not symmetrical. Looking at Changgyeonggung, it gives a more familiar and cozy feeling than the other palaces.
Outside of this, the King met with his vassals in Munjeongjeon at Changgyeonggung, discussed education and literature in Sungmundang, held public functions and received officials in Haminjeong, Gyeongchunjeon, Hwangyeongjeon, Tongmyeongjeon, Yanghwadang were used as bedchambers, and the royal consorts rested in Youngchunheon and Jipbokheon. Although many of the ruins haven’t been recovered, one can feel Changgyeonggung through the beautiful nature and the old garden facilities.
* Address: 185, Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
* How to get there: Line 4 Hyehwa Station Exit 4 Go straight 300m – Cross the street and take the left street 300m
* Hours: Feb-May, Sept-Oct 9AM – 6PM / Jun-Aug 9AM – 6:30PM / Nov-Jan 9AM – 5:30PM (Closed every Monday)
* Admission: 25-64 years of age 1,000won
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Write: 2015-04-09 16:48:00 / Update: 2015-04-09 16:50:48
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