"Beautiful Spots of CheongGyeCheon Stream" Seoul by meetkorea

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10 most beautiful spots of the Cheonggye Stream

With the water beginning to flow again along the restored Cheonggye Stream, the streamside promenade that stretches more than five kilometers has emerged as a new dating course for young couples. Here is a look at the ten most beautiful spots along the stream -- new tourist attractions that embrace both the past and the present, and both nature and modernity.

First beautiful spot - "Cheonggye Plaza," where light and water meet

A daily total of 65,000 tons of water gushes from the two-layered waterfall where the Cheongye Stream begins at Cheonggye Plaza, which measures 6,949.8 sq. meters in area. Flowing from the area between Mt. Bukak and Mt. Inwang northwest of Seoul, the Cheonggye Stream begins establishing its magnificent presence at a smaller plaza measuring about 2,310 sq. meters in front of the Dong-A Media Center (Dong-A Ilbo daily newspaper) in Sejongno, Jongno-gu, Seoul. The floor of this plaza boasts traditional beauty, as it is paved with stonework of various colors reminiscent of traditional quilt designs. This plaza also showcases a 60-meter-long miniature version, or a one-133rd scale model, of the Cheonggye Stream. This miniature stream is illuminated at night through the use of optical fibers. Standing near this plaza are an artificial waterfall and stones from local areas in eight provinces around the Korean peninsula, including Ildong of Gyeonggi Province, Cheonan of South Chungcheong Province and Goheung of South Jeolla Province, and North Korean provinces such as Hamgyeong, Pyongan and Hwanghae. Cheonggye Plaza, symbolizing "an encounter of light and water" looks simply stunning at night. The urban night view in this area is fantastic, with a candlelight-style water fountain, a circular-shaped "Shooter Fountain" and a waterfall illuminated by a various-colored LED (light-emitting diode) lighting system.

Second beautiful spot - "Gwangtong Bridge," a spot showcasing history and tradition

Visitors can learn history while standing on this bridge on the upper reaches of the stream. This was once a main bridge of the capital, where processions of kings and foreign envoys passed. It was also used by people when they played folk games, such as flying kites, or observed folk rituals while walking on it. It is the largest bridge over the Cheonggye Stream -- 15 meters wide and 13 meters long. It was buried underground in 1958 when a road was built over the stream. The current bridge was restored to its original condition and built about 150 meters away from its original location. Many men and women used to walk on this bridge on the 15th of January (by lunar calendar). Its rectangular stones still display the elaborate engravings of clouds and powerful spirits.

Third beautiful spot - Ceramic tile wall painting depicting King Jeongjo's procession

On display on the left side of Gwang Bridge is "Jeongjo Daewang Neunghaeng Banchado" (ïáðÓÓÞèÝÒøú¼Úìó­Óñ, a procession of King Jeongjo, the 22nd king of Joseon), the world's largest varied-colored ceramic tile wall painting made on a backdrop of white ceramic tiles. It is a ceramic tile wall painting portraying King Jeongjo's procession escorting the Queen Mother Hyegyeonggung Hong to Hwaseong (present-day Suwon, Gyeonggi Province) in order to celebrate Jeongjo's late father Crown Prince Sado's 60th birthday at his tomb (Hyonryungwon) in 1795. It is a magnificent wall painting made of 4,960 white ceramic tiles that stretches almost 200 meters between Gwang and Samil bridges. The original painting, a detailed record of the royal procession that lasted eight days, was created jointly by the greatest artists at the time such as Kim Hong-do, Kim Deuk-sin, Lee In-mun, Chang Han-jong and Lee Myung-kyu. The 25 meter-long original painting is currently kept at the exhibition room of Kyujanggak at Seoul National University.

10 most beautiful spots of the Cheonggye Stream

Fourth beautiful spot - "Culture Wall" created by five artists

The "Culture Wall" consists of five artwork pieces created by five artists, including professor Bae Jin-hwan of the Korean National University of Arts, under the theme "A Way to the Future." This wall adds cultural elegance to the Cheonggye Stream. The five artworks created by contemporary Korean artists are on display in a series. They are entitled "Nature + Human Being + Environment" (Chun Kap-bae), "Visual Maze" (Bae Jin-hwan), "Stars" (Chang Soo-hong), "Masses" (Baek Myung-jin), and "Creation - Light" (Kang Suk-young). These large-sized contemporary artworks, each of which measures 10 meters wide and 2.5 meters high, figuratively show that the restored Cheonggye Stream represents harmony between nature and men. The Culture Wall, standing on the left-side embankment on the upper side of Ogansu Bridge near East Gate, is full of unique pictures that stimulate the imagination, including one showing children playing in the stream with fish, mud turtles and frogs.

Fifth beautiful spot - "Ogansumun," featuring five reconstructed floodgatese

Ogansu Bridge stands at the mid-way point of the restored Cheonggye Stream. There are many attractions near the bridge. Dongdaemun (East Gate) Subway Station stands north of the bridge and Dongdaemun Stadium lies south of the bridge. There are many fashion shopping malls in the vicinity.
Ogansumun (çéÊàâ©Ú¦), or Ogansu floodgate, was originally used to drain water from the inner city to the outside. It also reportedly saw use by criminals as an escape route. It originally stood at Cheonggyecheon 6-ga street between East Gate and Uljiro 6-ga street. It was called Ogansumun because of the five floodgates. In 1908, the Japanese colonial government demolished these floodgates when removing the castle walls near East Gate. In its place, a concrete bridge was built with the new name "Ogansu Bridge." Unlike Gosa Water Fountain and the Wall Fountain, Ogansu Bridge has a system that stores water in a tank in a way that makes it look like a pond. The Seoul city government will restore the Ogansumun to its original condition, as well as the entire castle walls around Seoul. At Ogansu Bridge, a rainbow arch symbolizing the original five floodgates has been built. Each floodgate has a different lighting system, faintly illuminating the floor of the water tank and the entire area.

Sixth beautiful spot - "Gosa Water Fountain," a fantastic show of water jets

Gosa Water Fountain stands at the upper side of Ogansu Bridge near the Pyonghwa Marketplace. This water fountain rivals any other fountain in any city. Measuring 10 meters high and 22 meters wide, it shoots various sizes of water jets illuminated by variously colored lights. At night, the jets of water gushing from 65 spouts create fantastic scenes, illuminated by red, yellow, blue and white LEDs. Lovers will be attracted to the beauty of this fantastic fountain.

Seventh beautiful spot - "Bballaeteo," showcasing an old laundry site

In the past, the Cheonggye Stream used to be the site of ordinary residential structures, such as a laundry site for women and a swimming pool for children. One such old laundry site has been restored in an area between Dasan and Yongdo bridges. The nearby Hwanghak Marketplace is a very famous flea market where shoppers can find rare items. In his novel entitled "Streamside scenes," Park Tae-won describes the laundry site of the Cheonggye Stream: "Even during the biting cold days in January and February, women seemed not to care about their hands dipped in the water at this laundry site." After it moved its capital to Hanyang (present-day Seoul), the Joseon Dynasty implemented a water control project for the stream in order to lessen the danger of flooding. Consequently, the stream turned into a laundry site and a swimming pool for the residents of the capital. The restored "Cheonggye Bballaeteo" keeps this history intact.

10 most beautiful spots of the Cheonggye Stream

Eighth beautiful spot - "Wishes Wall," an artistic work created by 20,000 people

The "Wishes Wall" was created by about 20,000 people on the embankments on both sides of the Cheonggye Stream, right before the Seongbuk tributary stream conjoins the Cheonggye Stream between Hwanghak and Biudang bridges on the lower reaches. Each side of the wall is 50 meters long and 2.2 meters high, and is made of some 20,000 ceramic tiles on which citizens have engraved their individual wishes. The Seoul city government gave the citizens the opportunity to create the ceramic tile drawings or writings with the purpose of having the public join hands in restoring the Cheonggye Stream, allowing the people to make all manner of wishes ranging from reunions and reconciliation, to peace and national reunification.
In August 2003, the city government finished the removal of the old Cheonggye Elevated Road, but decided to preserve some of its support pillars in order to teach posterity the historic significance of the stream's restoration. Looking at the few support pillars still standing in the flowing water causes visitors to feel like new life is stirring in those concrete structures. The unsightly pillars do not harmonize well with the restored stream, but still are a symbol of the history of the Cheonggye Stream.
The romantic "Rhythm Wall Fountain," on which water flows in various directions according to the sounds of music, stands between Hwanghak and Biudang bridges. Cross the stream using the stepping stones in front of the wall fountain, and you will find a water tunnel.

Tenth beautiful sport - "Beodeul swampy land," a natural ecosystem at the lower reaches of the Cheonggye Stream

The closer you come to the lower reaches of the stream, the stronger the scent of nature becomes. The best natural ecosystem lies in the "Beodeul swampy area" near Gosanja Bridge, the 22nd and the last bridge over the stream. Wild ducks, white herons and spot-billed ducks arrived here recently as the completion of the stream's restoration work approached. LED-illuminated lighting systems are installed here and there to help visitors enjoy the night view of the streamside scenery exemplified by reeds dancing in the wind. Willow trees and various aquatic plants have been planted here to create a new habitat of flora and fauna.

In the past, the stream flowed and washed away the cares of the people. After the Korean War, it served as the center of the "Miracle on the Han River." Now, the Cheonggye Stream is emerging as a new center of culture where history and nature coexist in harmony. The ten most beautiful spots of the stream are must-see attractions.

1) Two guided courses will be given by cultural guides. Each course takes about two to three hours.
2) Starting from October, each course will be provided three times a day: 9:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.
3) Prior reservations are required.

Course 1: Cheonggye Plaza ¡æ Ogansu Bridge (2.7 km, 3 hours)
(Cheonggye Plaza ¡æ restored Gwangtong Bridge ¡æ Samil Bridge ¡æ Supyo Bridge ¡æ Saebyokdari ¡æ Ogansu Bridge
Course 2: Gosanja Bridge ¡æ Ogansu Bridge (2.6 km, 3 hours)
(Gosanja Bridge ¡æ Cheonggye Culture Hall ¡æ Dumuldari ¡æ Malgeunnaedari ¡æ Ogansu Bridge)
Telephones: Seoul City Hall Tourism Division (02-3707-9454) and Seoul City Hall Cheonggye Stream Management Center (02-2290-6849)

Tour bus number: 01
Travel time: 100 minutes (6:30 a.m.-24:00 p.m.)
Running intervals: 20-25 minutes (9-10 times on weekdays and 11-12 times on holidays)
(Cheonggye Culture Hall ¡æ Cheonggye 8-2 ga streets ¡æ Jongno 2-ga Street ¡æ Jonggak Subway Station ¡æ Dong-A Ilbo daily newspaper ¡æ Gwang Bridge ¡æ Cheonggye 2-8 ga streets ¡æ Cheonggye Culture Hall)

Source from KBS Global

  • Intro Written Jul 3, 2006
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