Namdaemun - Great South Gate, Seoul
One of the symbols of Seoul and Korea, Namdaemun Gate was given the status of "National Treasure No.1" on December 20, 1962.
Namdaemun was built as one of four great gates to protect the palace of the Yi dynasty. The construction of this gate began in 1395 during the fourth year of the reign of King Taejo of Joseon and was finished in 1398. The remaining structure went through renovation during the reign of King Sejong (1447) and the tenth year of the reign of King Seongjong (1479).
Namdaemun Gate was originally called the Sungnyemun Gate. The title Namdaemun originated because it was the southern gate of the original walls surrounding Seoul during the Joseon Dynasty. Namdaemun is currently the oldest wood-built structure remaining in Seoul.
Next to the structure is the Namdaemun Market, one of the largest traditional markets in Seoul which dates back to 1414.
Namdaemun (South Gate) is located near the downtown area and is one of Korea's largest wholesale markets.
There are over 1,000 shops, stalls, retailers, street vendors, and has several department stores nearby.
Here you can find clothes, shoes, fabrics, tableware, flowers, vegetables, ginseng products, toys, and watches.
Namdaemun Market has a typical Korean atmosphere. There is nothing you cannot find what you want to buy. It is old-style market, so most of customers are local buyers and tourists from foreign countries. The typical items you can get here are Korean ginsengs, seasoned lavers and glasses. It is also famous for a heaven of imitation items such as wallets, watches, bags and so on. Needless to say, it is illegal to buy them. You can also taste various kinds of street foods. Recently, Korean actors’ / actresses’ items are very popular among foreign tourist, especially from Asian countries.
Namdaemun was built as one of four great gates to protect Kyungbok-gung, the palace of Yi dynasty at the late 14th century. It is the oldest wooden structure in existence in Korea and has been designated as Korea’s national treasure No.1.
By the way, some Koreans believe that Namdaemun is not real national treasure No. 1 of Korea because it was designated by Japanese government under Japan’s colonial rule. They say that it is originally called Sungryemun but Japanese government changed its name to Namdaemun to push down of the value of this gate.
Instead of Namdaemun, they selected another one as national treasure No. 1. Do you know what it is? It is Hun Min Jeong Eum. It is a document for announce the establishment of Hangul, original Korean character for citizens. It is not a formal choice but it shows us their mixed feelings about Namdaemun as Korea’s national treasure No. 1.
Namdaemun is the Old South Gate and one of Seoul's great landmarks. It is one of the few remaining parts of the wall that once surrounded the city. THe best place to view it is near the fountain a bit up the hill on the right. The city has even graciously maked "photo spots" on the pavement for you so you can get the exact same picture (minus Rufus, of course)
The Great South Gate is a must to see site in Central Seoul. Its very location - a relic of the past standing out and in great contrast to what Seoul has become. None the less the Namdaemun is one of Seoul's most impressive architectural sites.
The Sungnyemun or 'South Gate' was once part of the old city walls. One of the few remaining sections of that structure, it stands at the intersection of 5 major roads and currently acts as a brightly-lit traffic island. You can approach it on foot, but most likely you'll see it as you speed past at around 50mph in a silver taxi.
Namdeamun is one of those markets you always hear about where you can buy anything, or almost anything. I frist started walking around Namdeamun and thought alright ya this is ok. Alittle while later I found stairs that went down in to the underground and I got lost in there looking at everything for about one hour there is just so much to see. I think they had the heat turned way up in there becuase it was so very hot in there I was sweating like mad. After i left the under ground area ( The underground really impressed me ) I saw the south gate (the gate you see on all the post cards ) and I was amazed and i had to put it in my must see activitys.
One of the things that made me want to visit Seoul was this beautiful ancient gate which sits in the middle of traffic in the heart of Seoul. I am still unsure whether or not you can go inside it, but it looks like you can't. At least, I never saw anyone going into it. And since there is a fence surrounding it, and traffic swarming around it, it is kind of hard to get close to anyway. Still, it is my favorite image of Seoul.
Now, suppose you are standing there, looking at the Gate and you say to yourself, I wonder where in Seoul I could go to buy a winter coat and a pig's head? I have often wondered that myself, so I know how you feel. Well, don't worry, because right next door is the Namdaemun Market, where you can buy just about anything. Seiously, if you want dried anchovies, or little toy robots, this is the place. You can get lost going up and down the roads in this shopping district. But, once you get out, it isn't hard to make your way back to the subway station.
Named for its nearby namesake of Namdaemun (Great South Gate) and located near the downtown area, one of Korea's largest wholesale markets covers over 10 acres. It is filled with over 1,000 shops, stalls, retailers, street vendors, and has several department stores nearby. Here you can find clothes, shoes, fabrics, tableware, flowers, vegetables, ginseng products, toys, and watches. Under Namdaemun-no (the main street to the north of the market) is an extensive underground arcade.
Although many of Namdaemun's shops are within the buildings that make up the area, the most colorful aspect of the market is the group of street vendors that setup in the alleys and walkways between the buildings. Wholesalers operate from midnight to 6:00 a.m., and retailers are open from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Although most retailers close their stores on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month, many street vendors operate stalls in the alleys.
Due to its location near downtown and the convenient bus service to and from Itaewon, many foreigners visit here. Most of the vendors can speak a few words of English or Japanese, but you will generally need an interpreter for any intense bargaining. Because many shops are willing to take non-Korean currency, there is also a thriving black market for money exchanging, with rates generally a little better than those of banks. Should you decide to exchange money this way, take great care not to get ripped off.
Nearby is Namdaemun (Great South Gate). Also within walking distance are Seoul Station, Deoksu Palace, and City Hall.
Namdaemun (Sungnyemun) Gate is Korea National Treasure Number 1 of Korea. In the past, every representative visiting from China and Japan had to pass through the gate in order to enter Seoul. Its construction began in 1396 and was finished in 1398 (it under -went a major restoration in 1448 and again in 1997) and so it has been in existence for more than 500 years. It is the biggest gate ever made in Korea and is the oldest wooden structure left standing in Seoul. The most interesting thing about the gate is the roof. It is even more beautiful at night because lights have been added to the structure. There were once walls surrounding the gate, but the Japanese destroyed them during the colonial era. As such, it is yet another cultural site, among many others in Korea, where bad memories of the past are still kept and can never be forgotten.
Adjacent to the South Gate is the Namdaemun Market, one of the largest traditional markets in Seoul which dates back to 1414. About 10,000 stores sell 17,000 kinds of items including clothes and accessories. Many of the stores own their own factories, and manufacture products at an astounding speed. Retailers from across the nation flock to these stores from midnight up to 4a.m, creating a peculiar night scene.
There are some awesome shops in Namdaemoon with art supplies. Lots of paper, from rice paper, to origami paper, to wrapping paper. One complex has every art supply you could want, from name-brand colored pencils to paints and easels. I haven't seen as good of a selection anywhere else in Korea during my 3-year stay.
You can find handmade cards, Japanese stickers, 3,000 gel pens, beads, jewelry backings and charms.
This market's pretty big and covers several city blocks. You can find a lot of merchants selling all kinds of souvenirs, fresh food, and LOTS of clothes. The clothes are probably really cheap, but of questionable quality. It's a good place to be if you want to be around a lot of people.
Of course, as with many other markets, haggling is a must.
This huge market is spread around several street blocks. Mostly Koreans come here to shop but many tourists come here too for some good bargains. You can pick up souvenirs, leather goods, clothing etc. in fact just about anything!
I was lucky enough to have chosen an interesting area of town to disembark from the bus. I started walking away from Seoul Station and stumbled on this old gate, which I later learned is called Namdaemun. Namdaemun is one of the 4 main gates of the old city wall. When Seoul was a walled city, Namdaenum was one of the main entrances to the capital. 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. Positioned near the the current center of downtown Seoul, amidst traffic and skyskrapers, it receives a large amount of pollution, the main reason behind its most recent renovation.