Friday, March 03, 2006
Namdaemun, the Great South Gate, Open to Visitors
One historic site that attracts great interest is Seoul's 600 year old city gates. Part of the city's ancient fortifications, several of the city's gates have survived Japanese colonialism, moderization, and urbanization. The Namdaemun Gate commonly called the Great South Gate was a center of commerce in Korea for hundreds of years. In fact, early Anglos on the peninsula noted its stature. Numerous pictures by these Anglos document it a century ago. My book_Intrepid Americans: Bold Koreans_ points out the economic and social significance of the gate.
On my recent trip to Korea I was able to get within feet of the gate. What I really wanted to do was walk through the gate. Good News, as the photo shows, the structure is now open to visitors. I look forward on my next trip to Korea to enter the gate like thousands of visitors to Seoul did in the past.