Namdaemun - Great South Gate, Seoul
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.
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, 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!
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.
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 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)
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.
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..
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.
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
.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.
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.
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."
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.