Friday, November 25, 2022

Insa-dong and Tapgol Park

Insa-dong is an old historic "dong" or neighborhood with a main street connected to a multitude of alleys that lead deep into a district of modern galleries, tea shops, and markets for antiques and artwork.  It's a great place to wander through the 12.7 hectare (31.4 acre) complex.

Wandering through Insa-dong

At one end of Insa-dong, Tapgol Park, the first modern park built in Seoul by Mr. John McLeavy Brown, Inspector General of Customs for Emperor Gwangmu.  On entering the park, we come across the statue of Patriot Euiam Son Byeong-hui, a military and spiritual leader in the 19th century.

Patriot Euiam Son Byeong-hui

Just inside the park are tents with air conditioning (and television) for local residents to cool off on the hot day that we are here.

Cooling tent

A little further in are the Monument of Wongaksa Temple and the Palgakjeong octagonal pavilion where people gathered to declare Korean independence on March 1, 1919.

Monument of Wongaksa Temple and Palgakjeong

Along the side of Tapgol park, we find stone relics excavated in the neighboring area as modern Seoul was developed.  These relics are believe to have been former guardians of the Wongaksa Temple and a pagoda in the park.

Paths of the park

Stone relics

It's been a great wander through the combination of old and new Seoul.

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