Travel period Feb 2017
A Village of Traditional Houses in the Namsan Valley
Namsangol Hanok Village is located on the north side of Namsan Mountain in the center of the capital. This village has five restored traditional Korean houses, a pavilion, traditional garden, and a performance art stage; making it a perfect spot for both locals and tourists to take a leisurely walk.
When we arrived at the main gate, we found the information map of the whole complex, to guide our stroll around the village. There was also a picturesque view of beautiful and colorful trees with the “N Seoul Tower” in the background.
Upon entering from the front gate, we get a taste of the traditional life, while escaping from the bustling city life of modern times. The traditional garden, with its pavilion and the traditional houses, creates a peaceful ambiance before the forested Namsan Mountain. Once we entered the Namsangol Hanok Village, there was a photo zone.
Namsangol Hanok Village takes up a very wide area. When we entered this area, there was a frozen pond with a large field next to it. The open field was used for a variety of performances such as traditional dance or music of South Korea.
As we strolled around the Hanok village, we first stoppeds at Carpenter Yi Seungeop’s House in Samgak-dong, who was in charge of constructing Gyeongbokgung Palace during the late 1860s. The next one we went to is Gim Chunyeong’s House in Samcheong-dong. Built in the 1890s, this house was formerly located at Samcheong-dong while being used by the Gim family.
Just near here is the Min Family’s House in Gwanhun-dong. The spacious rooms and the large kitchen of this structure show that this belonged to an upper-class individual, not merely a house of ordinary folk. Previously found in Gwanhun-dong, this house was in its heyday, during the times of 1852 – 1935. Sadly, only two structures remained to be relocated here as the new owner dismantled the other parts of the house.
The next one is Yun Taekyeong’s Jaesil in Jegi-dong. This is one of the more prominent houses here as it was built by Emperor Sunjong’s father-in-law. It was constructed at the time when his daughter, Empress Sunjeong, became the Crown Princess in 1906.
Lastly, there is the Yun Family’s House in Ogin-dong which was built in 1910. This is another high-profile house since it belonged to Yun Deokyeong, an uncle of Empress Sunjeonghyo (wife of Emperor Sunjong). However, this house here, is only a replica, since the original one was too fragile to be moved.
We continued on to the garden at the back gate. There was a road with beautiful landscaping and a pavilion to enjoy the crisp air. With traditional vibes in a modern city center, Namsangol Hanok Village is well worth a visit when in Seoul.
We enjoyed our experience here, learning a bit of history along the way while visiting the various types of traditional architecture. We can also see the lifestyle of each social class during that time by observing the furniture and objects contained in the houses.
Admission is FREE!
Getting There: Take Subway Line 3 & 4 to Chungmuro Station (Exit 3 or 4), walk along the road between oh!zemidong (Chungmuro Media Center) and Maeil Business Newspaper Building (150m).