“Walking in the Kingdom-!
Along the western coast of Korea, about 60 km northwest of Seoul, is an island called “Ganghwado.” Compared to the capital Seoul, which is a major metropolitan area and the political and economic center of Korea, Ganghwado is a small and quaint island only an hour away. At low tide, the western and southern coasts of the island have exposed mudflats that have been recognized as one of the 5 major mudflats in the world. This extensive mudflat is home to black-faced spoonbills, a globally endangered species.
Map of late 19th century Ganghwado Island (owned by the Seoul National University Library)On the southern end of the island is Manisan Mountain, where Dangun, the legendary founder of the first kingdom of Korea, is said to have settled and held offerings to the heavens some five thousand years ago. Up on the northern part of the island is the Gwanghwa Dolmen Site, which has been enlisted on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Among them, the dolmen in the Bugeun-ri area of Ganghwado is considered the “best looking”. Ganghwado is a beautiful island with great mountains, blue oceans, vast fields and much more.
From 1232 to 1270, the capital of Goryeo was moved to Ganghwado in order to resist Mongolian invasion. Traces of the Goryeo Palace still remain to this day. Wouldn't you like to see what the royal palace looked like? Or see what life was like in those days?
Ganghwado Island is home to numerous historic and cultural places such as the Oegyujanggak (Royal Library of the Joseon Dynasty), which houses books related to the royal family; the hanok (traditional Korean residence) style catholic church built by a British missionary; and a factory that used to produce cotton fabrics.
Are you ready to hear the fun and interesting stories behind the people and places of the past?
List of Ganghwado Island Storytelling Series
|Goryeo Palace Site||Goryeo era
(1232 – 1270)
|Sik, Goryeo's King Wonjong||Goryeo Palace, a Royal Palace That Resembles a Peony Blossom||Story of a prince who left Gaegyeong (the capital of Goryeo) and built a palace in Ganghwado, and then burnt it down|
|Joyang Bangjik Café (formerly a textile weaving factory) & Sochang (woven cotton fabric) Experience Center||Modern era
(the 1960s to 1970s)
|Sunja, the 1st Miss Sochang||Sochang Experience Center & Joyang Bangjik—The Sound of Weaving Sochang Cotton Echoing Across the Island||Story about the Ganghwado textile industry|
|Yongheunggung House||Joseon Era
|King Cheoljong||Yongheungung House, Where a Woodcutter Became a King||Story of Wonbeom becoming king based on the “Ganghwa Haengnyeoldo” (painting of the royal procession escorting Wonbeom to the royal palace)|
|Ganghwa Anglican Church||Open Port Period
|British Priest, Charles John Corfe||Ganghwa Anglican Church, Joseon's First Hanok-style Catholic Church||Story behind the construction of the catholic church|
|Oegyujanggak (Royal Library)||Joseon Era
(winter of 1866)
|Henri Zuber, a French Naval Officer||Oegyujanggak, the Place that Housed Uigwe (the Royal Protocols of the Joseon Dynasty), the Most Beautiful Books in the World||Story of the Uigwe, the most beautiful books in the world|
|Ganghwasanseong Fortress & the Four Main Gates||Goryeo Era (Gangdo Period: when Ganghwado Island was Goryeo’s capital)||Chu, a Goryeo Subject Who Built the Fortress||Ganghwasanseong, Fortress Built with Blood, Sweat and Tears||Story of pain and suffering while building a fortress by ramming the earth with stones.|
(the Gangdo period)
|Ullyeong, Woman of Ganghwa Island during the Goryeo Era||Wangjajeong and Foods Served to the King||Story of Pork Rib Soup Seasoned with Salted Shrimp and Acorn Jelly and Rice in Cold Broth|
|Daemyeongheon House||Japanese Colonial Era
(1900 & 1947)
|Kim Koo||Daemyeongheon House, Where Independence Activist Baekbeom Kim Koo Stayed||Story of Kim Koo’s visit to Ganghwado Island|
Folk Flea Market
|Joseon Era||Gaettongi, a subject of the Joseon Kingdom||Ganghwa Folk Flea Market Full of Things to See, Buy and Enjoy||Story of selling goods at a 5th-day folk flea market.|
|* Different colors depict different eras (Goryeo, Joseon, Port-opening and modern Eras).|
List of Ganghwado Island Storytelling Series
- Venue: Goryeo Palace Site
- Background: Goryeo era (1232 – 1270)
- Character: Sik, Goryeo's King Wonjong
- Title: Goryeo Palace, a Royal Palace That Resembles a Peony Blossom
- Description: Story of a prince who left Gaegyeong (the capital of Goryeo) and built a palace in Ganghwado, and then burnt it down
- Venue: Joyang Bangjik Café (formerly a textile weaving factory) & Sochang (woven cotton fabric) Experience Center
- Background: Modern era (the 1960s to 1970s)
- Character: Sunja, the 1st Miss Sochang
- Title: Sochang Experience Center & Joyang Bangjik—The Sound of Weaving Sochang Cotton Echoing Across the Island
- Description: Story about the Ganghwado textile industry
- Venue: Yongheunggung House
- Background: Joseon Era (June 1849)
- Character: King Cheoljong
- Title: Yongheungung House, Where a Woodcutter Became a King
- Description: Story of Wonbeom becoming king based on the “Ganghwa Haengnyeoldo” (painting of the royal procession escorting Wonbeom to the royal palace)
- Venue: Ganghwa Anglican Church
- Background: Open Port Period (1900s)
- Character: British Priest, Charles John Corfe
- Title: Ganghwa Anglican Church, Joseon's First Hanok-style Catholic Church
- Description: Story behind the construction of the catholic church
- Venue: Oegyujanggak (Royal Library)
- Background: Joseon Era (winter of 1866)
- Character: Henri Zuber, a French Naval Officer
- Title: Oegyujanggak, the Place that Housed Uigwe (the Royal Protocols of the Joseon Dynasty), the Most Beautiful Books in the World
- Description: Story of the Uigwe, the most beautiful books in the world
- Venue: Ganghwasanseong Fortress & the Four Main Gates
- Background: Goryeo Era (Gangdo Period: when Ganghwado Island was Goryeo’s capital)
- Character: Chu, a Goryeo Subject Who Built the Fortress
- Title: Ganghwasanseong, Fortress Built with Blood, Sweat and Tears
- Description: Story of pain and suffering while building a fortress by ramming the earth with stones.
- Venue: Wangjajeong
- Background: Goryeo Era (the Gangdo period)
- Character: Ullyeong, Woman of Ganghwa Island during the Goryeo Era
- Title: Wangjajeong and Foods Served to the King
- Description: Story of Pork Rib Soup Seasoned with Salted Shrimp and Acorn Jelly and Rice in Cold Broth
- Venue: Daemyeongheon House
- Background: Japanese Colonial Era (1900 & 1947)
- Character: Kim Koo
- Title: Daemyeongheon House, Where Independence Activist Baekbeom Kim Koo Stayed
- Description: Story of Kim Koo’s visit to Ganghwado Island
- Venue: Ganghwa Folk Flea Market
- Background: Joseon Era
- Character: Gaettongi, a subject of the Joseon Kingdom
- Title: Ganghwa Folk Flea Market Full of Things to See, Buy and Enjoy
- Description: Story of selling goods at a 5th-day folk flea market.
* Different colors depict different eras (Goryeo, Joseon, Port-opening and modern Eras).
Recommended Tour Courses
1.The Prince’s Day Out
The prince’s day started at the palace, where he spent most of his time, then he would have enjoyed a delicious meal made using water drawn from Wangjajeong Well. Next he would have gone to Gwanghwasanseong Fortress, which was constructed to fight against Mongolian invasion, to enjoy a drink of water at the Oeup Mineral Spring located passed the fortress’s north gate then admire the view at Bukjangdae Command Post up north.
Goryeo Palace Site --> Wangjajeong Restaurant --> North Gate of Ganghwasanseong Fortress --> Oeup Mineral Spring or Bukjangdae Command Post
2. For the First Time in Korea
Ganghwa Anglican Church was the first Catholic Church in Korea constructed in hanok (traditional Korean residence)-style on November of 1900. Utjangteo (meaning the upper market and currently the parking lot of Jungang Market) was where Korea’s Declaration of Independence Movement started on March 1, 1919. Joyang Bangjik was the first textile factory of Korea built in 1933, and today it has been transformed into a café.
Ganghwa Anglican Church --> Ganghwa Tourism Platform (Jungang Market Building B) --> Joyang Bangjik
3. Workmanship of the People of Ganghwado
Uigwe are books where major events of the royal palace are recorded, and in order to best-preserve the historic, documentary and unique values of the book, it was stored at Oegyujanggak. The Oegyujanggak was the royal library is greatly valued for its historic and scientific properties.
The Sochang (woven cotton) Fabric Experience enter displays the process of making sochang cotton (“Ganghwa silk”). At the South Gate of Ganghwasanseong Fortress, visitors can see geuraengi construction technique (maintaining the shape of the foundation rocks) on the fortress walls. And last but not least, visitors can look around and purchase hwamunseok (woven sedge mats) and kkotsamhap (set of three woven baskets) at the Ganghwa Folk Market.
Oegyujanggak --> Sochang Fabric Experience Center --> South Gate of Ganghwasanseong Fortress --> Folk Flea Market