It was our last day in Seoul. Me and my colleagues decided that the whole morning will be spent burning our wallets out at all possible cheap buys at Namdaemun Market. Right after breakfast we headed to the market and decided that we broke apart as a group so that we would be able to purchase what we want without wasting other’s precious time. We decided that we would just meet up again at the hotel lobby at 11:30 AM for us to get ready for lunch together.
But an hour after searching and walking through the alleyways of this traditional Korean market, my head was suddenly spinning and everything seem to look the same. That was the time I knew I was cloying from the sickening look of voluminous varieties of clothes, kitchenware, toys, fine arts, footware, ginseng, trinkets, Korean souvenir items, carpets and hats.
To ease this cloying feeling, I decided to walk away from Namdaemun Market. And this was the time I reached and discovered a massive imposing structure just across the road. I decided to go ahead and find my way to reach such a traditional Korean structure.
At a very small booth near the entrance manned by a very old man, I found a brochure and learned that the commanding edifice in front of me is called Sungnyemun.
According to Wikipedia, Sungnyemun is one of the eight gates in the Fortress Wall of Seoul during the Joseon dynasty. It is also known as the Gate of Exalted Ceremonies (which I don’t know what means but it sounds very good). Wikipedia also indicates that it was built in the 14th century and was once the oldest wooden structure in Seoul and was given the status of National Treasure No. 1 during the 60’s. But in 2008 some loony 69-year old arsonist burned the wooden pagoda portion of the structure. Restoration was done for the burnt portion amounting to whopping 14 million US dollars and was completed only in April 2013.
Since its National Treasure Number 1, I of course did not missed the opportunity to take some photos of this beautiful site. After which, I headed back to Namdaemun market, buy me some ref magnets before heading back to the hotel.
Ininggit ko sila syempre sa pikchurs ko. Hahaha!