Namdaemun, also known as Sungnyemun, is the largest gate ever constructed in Korea and is Korean National Treasure Number 1.
Namdaemun, or the "Great South Gate" sits in the center of a major intersection in Seoul near Seoul Station. This gate was part of the fortress wall that surrounded the city of Seoul since the Joseon Dynasty in the 1390s. The city wall circled around four main mountains -- Namsan (to the south), Ingwansan (west), Bugaksan (north), and Naksan (east) -- but significant sections were destroyed by those nasty colonial Japanese. Namdaemun was the historical entrance to the city for official diplomatic visitors from other nations.
After being closed for 99 years, Namdaemun is once again open for traffic -- but only foot traffic, and mostly tourists. There are also changing of the guards ceremonies and martial arts exhibitions frequently at Namdaemun.
In February 2008 Namdaemun was destroyed by an arsonist who had a beef against the government. Koreans will certainly be saddened by the loss of this great and historic treasure.
In May of 2013, the reconstruction of Namdaemun is complete, and the great gate--National Treasure Number 1--has reopened!
This open air market of many stalls and shops is a favorite for local and foreign tourists. Famous for bargains from clothes, ceramics, Korean artwork, kitchen utensils, accessories, glasses and imported goods.
Open daily 9am to 6pm.
.Namdaemun Market is the largest wholesale market in Korea. It is known for offering virtually every product you can imagine: kitchen utensils, handicrafts, accessories, imported merchandise, food, miscellaneous articles, farm produce and fishery products and the like. You can buy goods at reasonable price.
Although an insane man burned the Great Gate to the ground in 2007, it is being rebuilt and should be finished by summer of 2009. The gate was not and is not the main attraction. That is the shopping. There are dozens of small alleyways crowded with shops selling just about anything you want. In the buildings you can find expensive dishes, blackmarket merchandise, Chinese herbs, and fancy clothes. On the sidewalks are every kind of food sold in Korea. Be warned, it is never empty and is always crowded and hectic.
Out of the ordinary is the area where the smiling pig heads are sold. Traditionally, when a business first opens, the family wishing the new business people luck will present them with a smiling pig head. There is no bargaining for the pig heads.
Everything else can be bargained for and 25 percent discount is always acheivable. Tsa gae chusay yoh is the way to ask for a discount. Most of the vendors speak some English and a few of them are fluent. In the foreign product area there is no discount. These products are from the G.I.s who sell them to the Koreans who sell them to ex-pats like me who just have to have some Folgers coffee, Colgate or whatever and there is never any bargaining.
Unfortunately I only have a poster picture of the gate since it is under reconstruction after the burning incident in november 2007 but a crazy old man. But I don't mine since my main aim to go go th the Namdaemun Market! Namdaemun Gate is one of the 4 main gates of the old city wall. Completed in 1398, it underwent a major restoration in 1447 and again in 1997. Designated as National Treasure #1, it is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Korea. As the southern gate of the original walls surrounding Seoul during the Joseon Dynasty, it is widely known as Namdaemun, literally "Great Southern Gate."
The Namdaemun Market is probably one of the larger markets to visit. They seem to have quite a variety of wares and food. A little smelly, I mean unfavorably smelly, but I think that just adds to the experience. We saw several, several markets like this throughout our visit to South Korea. Please check out my travelogue album on my Seoul page of Namdaemun Market for more pictures.
The Namdaemun Gate is the historical south gate of the city of Seoul when the city was surrounded by walls during the ancient times. Although the walls are now gone to make way for the modern city, the Namdaemun Gate still stands as an ancient monument and it is located just next to the famous Namdaemun Market (shopping area). This is one of the main attractions of Seoul and should not be missed when you are there.
Namdaemun is one of the oldest wooden structures in Seoul. It was first built in 1398. Visit it twice once during the day when you can enjoy the old next to the hustle and bustle of modern day traffic. You can also watch the changing of the guard. At night the gate is flood lit and makes an absolutely beautiful landmark.
Nandaemun, the Great South Gate of Seoul fortress, was built in 1398 and rebuilt in 1447. The fact that most of the stones in this massive edifice are original is one reason why it has been designated Korea's National Treasure No. 1.
It now stands isolated in the middle of a modern highway, on one side of which is the 600-year-old Nandaemun Market.
Namdaemun is not far from Myeong-dong. It's in walkable distance. But they are different. The store in Namdaemun sell children's clothing, men & women's clothing, daily miscellaneous goods, kitchenware and local products.
This place suit for local for seeking their miscellaneous goods for daily life. Many of the store is the wholeseller. We don't think it's for foreigner to shop here. But for survey, it's worth to see.
So- head to The oldest Market in Korea. It's not what I would call "traditional" but some do. It's definetly interesting though. You can buy anything here and always at a deal. You're not going to find any high fashion here(unless you stop into the Department store for some Gucci) but some wicked ajumma gear down these twisting side streets of the market. Have fun, get lost and buy something you weren't expecting.
The next spot after the Namdaemun market was the big south gate..
In Seoul I was expecting to see more of these remains but unfortunately I have seen many modern and big suildings, which led mr to think that the city has lost its soul already..
The great south gate is a very interesting spot to visit.. A definite must see.. It reflects the Korean style
In Seoul apparently there are four main districts that can be of an interest for a Tourist..
The first place is the downtown Seoul area.. In this area we have started with the Namdaemun market . Namdaemun grand market is indeed many shops and reatilers, street sellers all located in one area.. It was great fun to stroll a long the narrow roads and streets with all those different things that were offered.. However for me it is not a good place to shop, due to very low quality of many products..
What was once an important landmark, which signify Seoul's boundary, now stands at the junction of 4 roads within the center of Seoul. The South Gate is now a magnificant roundabout providing an amazing distraction to driver and tourist alike.
Standing outside one of the numerous entrance into the Imperial Palace, you can appreciate the size and scale of the structure.
It's actually wonderful seeing this piece of history amidst the more steelly grey buildings of modern Seoul.