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Cultural Heritage Sites print

Photo: Namhansanseong Fortress

Namhansanseong (Designated 2014)

  • Location: Gwangju-si, Gyeonggi-do
  • Description:
    Namhansanseong Provincial Park (also frequently known as Namhansanseong Fortress) is a unique fortress city with the purpose of functioning as an emergency capital for the protection of sovereignty over Hangang River and independence of Joseon. The exact date of the establishment has not been confirmed. However, given the close examination of records, the opinion prevails that it was built either during the Silla or Baekje Dynasty.

    Most of all, the Namhansanseong Fortress is of great historical and cultural value in perfectly reserving the development of castellation skills from Unified Silla to Joseon, which made it well-deserved to be listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
    Each of the four gates and Munrus (2-story houses built on the gates) in every direction of the north, south, east and west has Sueocheong (where the troops stayed), warehouses and Haenggung (temporary palace).
    Major cultural assets include Sueojangdae, Janggyeongsa Temple, Haenggung, Sungryeoljeon Shrine, Cheongryangdang Shaman Shrine and Chimkwaejeong.

Major Attractions

Photo: Sueojangdae (left)/ Janggyeongsa Temple (right)
(Photo courtesy: Cultural Heritage Administration)

Sueojangdae (Defense Commander's Post) is a two-story wooden military facility used for observation deck which soldiers can watch enemy movements as well as for directing battles. Out of 4 posts erected, Sueojangdae is the only remaining structure and sits on the top of the highest Iljangsan Mountain in the fortress.

The Namhansanseong Fortress Defense Command was organized during the Manchu Invasion in 1636. King Injo himself helped to direct and encourage the troops from here, and they managed to hold out for 40 days against the Qing force.

Janggyeongsa Temple was built in 1683 and this is where the monks who were helping to build the fortress, stayed. This showed how the monks were dedicated to the works of the nation. The temple is the only place that was preserved out of the nine temples that were built by the Buddhist Army, also known as, Seunggun in Korean.

Photo: Haenggung site of the Namhansanseong Fortress (left)
/ Sungryeoljeon Shrine (right)
(Photo courtesy: Cultural Heritage Administration)

The Haenggung of Namhansanseong where the King temporarily stayed was constructed to serve as a shelter and an emergency capital city during wartimes. Unlike other palaces, it was a self-sufficient defensive fortress where the local administrative center was placed within the fortress together with jongmyo, a royal ancestral shrine and sajik, an altar. It holds a great value today as it allows one to closely examine the system of temporary palace during the Joseon era.

Sungryeoljeon Shrine was built in commemoration of the founder Baekje, King Onjo
(r. B.C. 18 ~ A.D.28). General Yi Seo who was in charge of the construction of Namhansanseong are enshrined together here, where sacrificial rites are held whenever there is a big event related to the fortress.

More Info
☞ Nearby Attractions
Korean Folk Village
Seoul Grand Park
Hwaseong Fortress [UNESCO World Heritage]
Gwangju Gonjiam Ceramics Park
☞ Website: (Korean, English)
☞ 1330 Korea Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

* This column was last updated in October 2015, and therefore information may differ from what is presented here. We advise you to check details from the official websites before visiting.

<Last updated on October 2, 2015>

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