Dongdaemun Culture and History Park
The water gate (이간수문) - Chris Backe Overall Rating

Although the larger part of the Dongdaemun Design Plaza won't open until sometime in 2011, the nearby Dongdaemun Culture and History Park is complete. Still hidden from the crowded Dongdaemun street, this newly finished area impresses with its attention to detail.

Across the street from Migliore, Hello apm, Doota, and hidden behind a still-under-construction Dongdaemun Design Plaza, there’s little indication of anything being finished. However, it’s here that the Dongdaemun History and Culture Park lies.

The ‘park’ part of the area is designed to give some idea of how the land was once used as a military training ground – Dongdaemun (‘East Great Gate’) was at one time one of the more important gates into Seoul before the Japanese occupation. The area that the Dongdaemun History and Culture Park sits in used to be a branch of Hullyeongdogam (훈련도감), or the ‘Special Dir ectorate for Military Training’. It was here that about 20 government buildings were discovered, along with a tile-covered f ootpath and a pond that was part of a garden.

Numerous relics were also found in the area, many of which can be viewed in the nearby museum. By itself, however, the restored areas need a bit of imagination.