All you can currently see are the rocks that served as base stones, equally spaced about 3 meters apart, and part of the
restored tile path.
The Dongdaemun History Museum (dong-dae-mun-yeok-sa-gwan) lies nearby this area. During the excavation process, 2,778 items
ranging from the early Joseon dynasty to more modern times were discovered. The artifacts now represented within the museum include
white and blue porcelain dishes, some featuring a pattern called unryongmun, a pattern specifically reserved for court events and
The chronology inside goes back to 1396 when the walls were first constructed in 49 days by a countryful of farmers during their
off-time. After a couple of renovations over the centuries later, the walls were destroyed during the Japanese occupation in 1926.
The Japanese built a sports stadium on the site; after World War II, it became Seoul Stadium, which held a number of sporting events.
After Jamsil Baseball Stadium was built for the 1988 Olympics, Dongdaemun Stadium didn’t get as much use, and was eventually
demolished in 2007.
While some exhibits are in English and Korean, most exhibits within this museum are only in the latter. There are adequate pictures
and diagrams that can assist a smart viewer to determine what’s going on, however.
Really worth seeing is the restored part of the Seonggwak, or fortress wall (see photographs). First constructed in 1396, the wall
originally connected four mountains in the Seoul area – Naksan, Inwangsan, Namsan, and Bukaksan – and went on for over 18 kilometers.
Most of the walls were torn down after the Japanese invaded in the early 20th century. Only the walls in the mountains were left standing.
The restoration project has been ongoing since 1975 in a quest to become recognized as a world cultural asset.
The area still has that ‘new park’ look and feel to it, but seems ready for visitors to learn something of the area’s past in
preparation for the area’s future. It’s a little disappointing to see some of the recreations unfinished, but several other offerings
make it worth a trip.
Directions: Take line 2, 3, or 5 of the Seoul subway to the Dongdaemun Stadium station. Take
exit 1 to street level, then make a U-turn to the right. Walk for about 200 meters until you see the information center. Walk another
200 meters to find the entrance to the park. Free admission; most buildings open from 10am - 9pm. Wheelchair / stroller friendly.