I really like this place in Seoul!
I remember when it was first built at the middle of the city!
Who could imagine that this kind of beautiful and fresh water stream can exist just beside big road full of cars and skyscrappers?
Cheonggyecheon plays many roles for Seoulites.
Water flowing with its unique natural sound provides Seoulites a perfect place to relax and take a breath.
Even though Seoul is well knwon for being busy and crowded, Cheonggyecheon gives totally different impression by people slowly walking along, water flowing, and artworks you encounter.
Total different world of nature and relaxation exists at the middle of gray city!
Banchado of King Jeongjo(Hangul:정조대왕 능행 반차도)
Banchado of King Jeongjo is a painting of the Joseon Dynasty’s King Jeongjo’s 8-day royal procession to Hwaseong to visit his father’s thumb to celebrate his mother’s 60th birthday. Visitors to the Cheonggyecheon will be able to appreciate this Banchado as a tile wall painting, comprising of 5,120 pieces of ceramic tiles (each the size of W-30cm and H-30 cm). The original Banchado is comprised of a total of 60 pages describing the march of 1,779 figures and 779 horses, and was co-developed with Kim Deuksin, Lee Inmun, Jang Hanjong, and Lee Myeonggyo under the direction of Kim Hong-do, then the great painter. It retains its significance as an item of high cultural artistry.
Cheonggyecheon is not a newly built one. It existed in Joseon Dynasty, was destroyed by industrialization, and it revived in 21C, thanks to mayor of Seoul at that time (Actually, he’s president of Korea, now)
This picture on the wall shows past of Cheonggyecheon, when king was using Chenonggyecheon for his proceed.
Cheonggyecheon conveys its own history, too.
This bridge once linked Gwancheol-dong and Janggyo-dong, and had placed on Cheonggyecheon between 51 Janggyo-dong and 11 Gwancheol-dong. Since there was a village called ‘Jangchagol’ near this bridge, it was appropriately named ‘Jangchagol-dari’ in the local region. However, its formal name was ‘Jangtonggyo,’ shortened to ‘Janggyo.’ This name originated from the ‘Jangtongbang’ in the Joseon Dynasty.
It was called ‘Jangchanggyo’ because there were long (Jang) warehouses (Chang) nearby. Judging from the eight characters of ‘Sinmigaejo (repaired at Sinmi (the 8th year of the sexagenary)), and ‘Gihaegaejo’ (repaired at Gihae (the 36th year of the sexagenary)) inscribed on the western bridge post, is it thought that this bridge has been repaired twice. It joins the main stream of Cheonggyecheon with water from the Changdongcheon, and a stream flows through Hoehyeon-dong at Sogwangtonggyo (bridge).
Many bridges of Cheonggyecheon are bridges that were built really long time ago.
This is a map of Cheonggyecheon made in Joseon Dynasty
Symbolizing an encounter between traditional elegance and the future, this bridge was once called ‘Gwanggyo’ in more ancient times, meaning it was a great and wide bridge. The current Gwanggyo crossroad corresponds to the original position of this bridge.
I think Cheonggyecheon is a wonderful place to take a walk.
In what place can Seoulites just walk alongside waterstream not listening to any noise from crowds and cars?
Nature is a must, in everywhere.
Cheonggyecheon is a place of art, too.
In an empty space below a bridge, artworks were at the middle of exhibition.
Art always makes people’s mind fulfiling.
If it is free for everyone, it is more fulfilliong, of course.
If it were not for Cheonggyecheon, Seolites would have not found any place to enjoy jogging around, taking a walk, and having great time with their beloved people.
This bridge was located near what is currently Seorin-dong 124 (a corner crossed with Cheonggyero(Street) and the Euljiro-bound Jongno crossroad), and it was called the ‘Daegwangtonggyo’ due to its immense size. This bridge had been known as the largest bridge in Seoul, and became regarded as the place for Dapgyonori (play) on the night of the year’s first full moon among women and men living in castle town. It was alternatively recorded as ‘Bukgwangtonggyo’ in the ‘Sejongsilrok-Jiriji (appended map),’ ‘Daegwangtonggyo’ in the ‘Sinjeung-dongkukyeojiseongram (appended map),’ ‘Gwangtonggyo’ in the ‘Dongseong-jido (map),’ and ‘Daegwanggyo’ in the ‘Suseon-jeondo (complete map).’ All these names referred to the same bridge, and it most widely became known as ‘Daegwanggyo’ or ‘Gwanggyo.’
Even in cloudy weater in afternoon, Cheonggyecheon is beautiful.
Those girls are from Japan!
Cheonggyecheon is beautiful for foreigners, too!
Mojeongyo is an arch bridge illustrating the traditional Daecheong (main floored room) style. In old times, it was referred to as the ‘Mojeon’ that ‘Gwajeon,’ a fruit street, was paddling along. Therefore, the name of this bridge originated on this idea, since the bridge was located nearby that Mojeon. In addition, it has also been known as Mojeondari, Mojeongyo, or Mogyo. It was originally constructed as a stone bridge when it was developed with stonework in the western stream of Jongmyo (the ancestral shrine to the royal family), with wooden-work to the east in the 12th year of the Taejong Era. During those times, it was called ‘Sinhwa-bangdong-gugyo,’ but recorded as being known as Mojeongyo in the ‘Doseong-samgun-bungyeji-do (map),’ made out during the Yeongjo Era.
Palseokdam is a 21m-wide, 60m-long section to Mojeongyo (Bridge) made up of 8-provicial underwater tiger-eye stones that symbolize each province to represent the concept of flowing water to 8 provinces of the Joseon Dynasty in the past as well as the reunified Korea in the future. It is connected to the path where pedestrians can directly experience the flow of the water.
The stone architecture representing the old 8 provinces of Joseon Dynasty is composed of two whole stones from each province and a fountain between them. The water of the eight provinces pushed up through this fountain is merged into Cheonggyecheon, which signifies the life force of continuously flowing water connected with the eight provinces.
The harmonization of 8 provinces was captured by using stones from each 8 provinces as an underwater tiger eye which symbolizes the harmonization of 8 provinces. The discharge jet was structured to make a small water path, which specifies the Water of Harmonization. The floor of Palseokdom is also constructed of stone.
Cheonggye Plaza(Hangul: 청계광장)
Cheonggye Plaza developed along Sejongno, and acts as the starting point of the Cheonggyecheon. It is known for the grand sight of a candle fountain harmonizing with three-colored lighting and a two-staged cascading falls at a height of four meters. On both sides of the fall, it is covered with ‘Palseokdam,’ which were manufactured by 8 stones coming from the entire country. At night it makes for a fantastic scene of light and water. Moreover, the 1/100 miniature of the whole Cheongyecheon region is also said to be spectacular.
‘Spring’ – Claes Thure Oldenburg
This structure became a symbol of Cheonggyecheon!
Cheonggyecheon is more beautiful at night.
Lights were well-designed for people to enjoy great mood, and surrounding sights are more beautiful.
Can you see those light bulbs shining at both sides of the road?
If you look more sensitively, you can find more in Cheonggyecheon.
Actually, the real sight is hidden just beside you.
Samilgyo is a bridge connecting Insa-dong and Myeongdong Catholic Cathedral, reflecting the image of modern architecture. Its name, ‘Samilgyo,’ was given by Samillo (Street), a well-known hub for demonstrations against the oppression of Japanese imperialism after the declaration of independence on March 1, 1919.
Cheonggyecheon takes you about 2 to 3 hours to take a whole look around.
If it is Summer, you can enjoy cooler atmosphere there, and if it is winter, it is enough to just hear the sound of water and feel fresher air there.
If you want to escape from the city for awhile, but do not have enough time,
enjoy and relax at Cheonggyecheon like a usual Seoulite.
This is made for you!