상단여백
HOME Culture & Art Kingo Walk
Deoksugung Stonewall Walkway: The Picturesque Walking Spot

As the new semester starts, the autumn is coming with a cool breeze and warm sunlight. It would be nice to take a stroll along a stonewall, enjoying the ginkgo trees on an autumn day! the Sungkyun Times (SKT) will now introduce Deoksugung Stonewall Walkway, a perfect place to travel to the past through its historical buildings and surroundings.

Feel the Modern Era at the Deoksugung Stonewall Walkway

Introducing Deoksugung Stonewall Walkway

Deoksugung Stonewall Walkway, located near the Deoksugung Palace in Jung-gu, usually refers to Deoksugung Stonewall Walkway, Jeongdong-gil, and Deoksugung-gil, without distinction. Also, the area has been famous for being a romantic dating spot for a long time. However, the stonewall walkway is also the place that maintains the memories of Korea’s painful modern history. Deoksugung Stonewall Walkway, surrounding Deoksugung Palace, emerged when Gyeongungung (former name of Deoksugung Palace) was extended after the proclamation of the Korean Empire in 1897. Stonewalls were constructed as the size of Gyeongungung became smaller during the Japanese colonial period. As time has gone by, the appearance of the stonewall walkway has changed a lot from its past, and Jeongdong-gil is the only street that maintains a similar view.

How to Get to Deoksugung Stonewall Walkway and Tour Route Recommendation

Kingos from the Humanities and Social Sciences Campus can take the Jongno-02 bus and get off at the Jongak YMCA Stop to transfer to Subway Line 1. You should then get off at City Hall Station, and by walking three minutes from Exit 3, you can get to the stonewall walkway. Kingos from the Natural Sciences Campus can take the subway at Sungkyunkwan University Station and get off at City Hall Station. Likewise, if you get out at Exit 3 and walk three minutes, you can get to the destination easily. The SKT recommends walking from the Deoksugung Stonewall Walkway, which is the nearest street from City Hall Station, then walk along Jeongdong-gil, and lastly Deoksugung-gil.

A Place Full of Historical Culture and Cultural Heritage

Deoksugung Stonewall Walkway

1. Yangijae

Yangijae was erected in 1905 when Gyeongungung was rebuilt, and this was the last royal repair of the Korean Empire. Until 1910, it was used as Suhagwon, which was the educational institution for the nobility. In 1912, the Korean Anglican Church rented the building and bought it in 1920. So until now, it has been used as the office of the Korean Anglican Church. Though it is prohibited to go into the building and see the inside, looking outside gives fresh feelings. The contrast between the exterior of Korean-traditional looking Yangijae and the Romanesque style building of Seoul Anglican Cathedral is a charming point. You can feel the traditional mood and exotic atmosphere at the same time.

Yangijae
Seoul Anglican Cathedral

2. The Path of King Gojong

It is the path that King Gojong used when he fled to the Russian Legation to escape the surveillance of the Japanese imperialists in 1896. Therefore, this is the road of woeful Korean history. Its restoration started in 2016 and it was officially opened in October 2018. You can get to the start of the path through the Deoksugung interior walkway, and the path is connected up to Jeongdong Park, where the former Russian Legation was located. The total distance of the path is 120 meters long, and it takes about three minutes to arrive at Jeongdong Park. Be careful about the strong sun and the heat as there is a slightly uphill road without any shade!

* Opening Hours 09:00~18:00 (Closed on Mondays)

* Admission Fee Free

Jeongdong-gil

Jeongdong-gil is one of the most beautiful streets in Seoul. It stretches to Seodaemun, and you can feel the quaint mood along the cobblestone street with modern-looking red brick buildings.

1. Ewha Museum

Ehwa Museum is located inside Ewha Hakdang (currently Ewha Girl’s High School), the first educational institution for women in Korea. It was constructed in 1915 and is the only modern building left in Ewha Girl’s High School. Its previous name was Simpson Hall, but it re-opened as Ewha Museum in 2006. On the 1st floor, there is an exhibition about Korean women’s education history and Yu Gwan-soon’s classroom, which reproduces a past classroom from the 1910s. Also, the exhibition about the history of Ewha Hakdang and the donations of the alumni are exhibited on the 2nd floor. Currently, a special exhibition Yu Gwan-soon and the Independence Activists of Ewha is being held on the 2nd floor, and it will run until December 31st, 2021. You can feel the national consciousness of Yu Gwan-soon through the exhibition.

Ewha Museum

* Opening Hours 10:00~17:00 (Closed on Sundays & Mondays)

* Admission Fee Free

※ Closed temporarily as a preventive measure for COVID-19

2. Jeongdong Theater

Jeongdong Theater was opened in 1995 with the motto of the restoration of Wongaksa, the first modern Korean theater. It aims to perform both traditional Korean arts and contemporary performing arts. Also, there is an outdoor courtyard pursuing the harmony between nature and art. On the courtyard wall, there is a mural painting by Jheon Soo-cheon, which expresses the ideal cultural space that Jeongdong Theater seeks. Near the mural, you can also find the statue of Lee dong-baek, the great singer of pansori, to celebrate him and the restoration of Wongaksa.

Jeongdong Theater
Outside of Jeongdong Theater

3. Jungmyeongjeon

Jungmyeongjeon, a two-story western-style building with red bricks, appears as you enter the small alley beside Jeongdong Theater. It was one of the first western-style buildings established in the Palace. It was originally built as a royal library; however, King Gojong used it as a temporal residence after the fire in Deoksugung in 1904 until his dethronement. It is a memorable place where many tragic events occurred, including the signing of the Eulsaneukyak, the unequal treaty between Korea and Japan in 1905. Visitors can tour inside the building, which displays the re-creation of the Eulsaneukyak and Gojong’s royal seal.

Jungmyeongjeon Closed Due to COVID-19

* Opening Hours 09:30~17:30 (Closed on Mondays)

* Admission Fee Free

※ Closed temporarily as a preventive measure for COVID-19

Deoksugung-gil

Deoksugung-gil begins at Daehanmun gate, the main gate of Deoksugung. It is famous for the ginkgo trees along the street.

1. Seoul Museum of Art

Walking down Deoksugung-gil, you can find the garden trail through the Seoul Museum of Art. Besides the exhibitions inside the museum, there are also outdoor exhibitions in the outdoor sculpture park. The Renaissance facade of the museum is in harmony with the modern style structure behind it. This is because the building was established as a court during the Japanese colonial period and was newly built as an art museum in 2002, maintaining its original facade. Owing to its symbolism and architectural, historical value, the building was enlisted as a registered cultural property in 2006. You can get the feeling of the coexistence between the past and the present. Meanwhile, the 11th Seoul Mediacity Biennale, which was postponed due to COVID-19, will be held from September 8th. The biennale titled One Escape at a Time features escapism within the current media landscape.

Seoul Museum of Art
La Vie En Rose by Choi Joeng-hwa
Thinking by Bae Hyung-kyung

* Opening Hours 10:00~20:00 (Tue-Fri), 10:00~19:00 (Weekends & National Holidays)

* Admission Fee Free except for special exhibitions

※ Only those who make reservations in advance can view the exhibition due to COVID-19

Have you ever heard the saying that couples will break up if they walk Deoksugung Stonewall Walkway together? Well, this might not be entirely true, but it started because there used to be a domestic relations court near this area. Therefore, this autumn, why don’t you take away those worries and go on a journey to the past, walking the stonewall street together with your loved ones or friends?

강민주  romaine@g.skku.edu

<저작권자 © THE SUNGKYUN TIMES, 무단 전재 및 재배포 금지>

강민주의 다른기사 보기
icon인기기사
기사 댓글 0
전체보기
첫번째 댓글을 남겨주세요.
여백
여백
많이 본 뉴스
    여백
    Back to Top