Presentation on theme: "Seouls Sungnyemun (South) Gate This national treasure, sometimes called The Great South Gate (Namdaemun), was constructed in 1398 and rebuilt in 1448."— Presentation transcript:
Seouls Sungnyemun (South) Gate This national treasure, sometimes called The Great South Gate (Namdaemun), was constructed in 1398 and rebuilt in 1448. One of the entrances to Seoul, it was the largest gate in Korea. Unfortunately, only four months after I visited Seoul, some old demented man burned the gate down (February 2008).
The huge gate towers over the surrounding park and nestles in and among the skyscrapers of the modern city, which has grown considerably over the years.
Changing of the Guard Several times a day, Korean guards, dressed in traditional ceremonial uniforms, march from a building across the street to their positions in front of the huge South Gate. Like the Guards at Buckingham Palace in London, these guards are stoic and never smile during their watch at the gateeven as tourists snap photos up close.
The Watchman (Pasu) Ceremony, conducted daily by the guards, was considered just as important as the guarding of the Royal Palace.
The guards would march, then reposition themselves periodically.
Left: the Chief of the guards; right: one of several guards in the small unit.
The two-layered structure sat upon a huge hill and large concrete bricks.
Walking under the portal of the gate, very old wooden beams were brightly painted with a dragon and flowers.
It was a gorgeous (but hot and humid) day; some local Koreans and a lot of tourists would sit and ponder the huge structure.