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Although there are numerous historical villages in Korea, the most representative are “clan villages.” In Korea, a clan is a social group comprised of people of the same paternal line, family name, and ancestral home; it also includes women who have entered into the clan by marriage. Consequently, the term “clan village” refers to a village in which one or two clans form the majority of the village’s residents and play a central role in making decisions about village life.

Though the entire Korean peninsula is scattered with historical neighborhoods and cultural gems, clan villages make up 80% of all historical villages, a major spread since their establishment in the early part of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). Of these pockets of time-honored beauty, Hahoe and Yangdong are Korea’s longest surviving and most well-preserved traditional clan villages. Both villages were home to the yangban (ruling noble class) during the Joseon and together are regarded as the epicenter of Korea’s Confucian culture.

Hahoe and Yandong face outward towards quietly flowing river waters and are guarded by forested mountains at the rear. Long ago, each village was constructed with sensitivity to the unique mountain and waterside climate. Not only built to be able to withstand temperature and humidity changes throughout the year, village houses, pavilions, study halls, and Confucian academies were specially constructed and arranged so as not to violate Confucian etiquette and the principles of Feng shui.

In addition to their unique spatial arrangements, the villages hold priceless archives and artwork from Joseon Era Confucianists and are some of the few remaining places that strictly observe traditional family and community rituals and events. In recognition of these attributes, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee officially put these historical villages of Korea on the UNESCO World Heritage List at its 34th convention meeting in Brazil.
Visitor Information
Go to Andong Hahoe Village
Go to Gyeongju Yangdong Village
Official site of Hahoe Village http://www.hahoe.or.kr (Korean, English, Japanese)
Official site of Yangdong Village http://yangdong.invil.org/ (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
Korea Travel Phone +82-54-1330 (English, Japanese, Chinese)
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Andong Hahoe Village Gyeongju Yangdong Village


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