Seongyojang House, Gangneung

13 04 2009

This weekend past a few of us headed up North to Gangneung to attempt to visit the Gyeongpo Lake CherryBlossom Festival. MKT had organised accomodation for all at the lovely historic Seongyojang House, just off the lake.

Seongyojang, Gangneung.

Instead of trying to remember about it, I’ll cut’n’paste from here.

Seongyojang is the former upper class residence of the Naebeon Lee (1703~1781) noble family of Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do Province. It was designated National Treasure No. 5 in 1965. The meaning of “Seon”, in Seongyojang, is boat. Gyeongpo Lake was directly in front of Seongyojang at the time it was built, thus making is accessible by boat. Gyeongpo Lake at one time reached the enormous circumference of 12km. Its size has reduced by 4km over the years and its depth has decreased by 1~2 meters.
It is said that 10 generations of descendents of Naebeon Lee have continued to live at Seongyojang. KBS (Korean Broadcasting System) has selected this residency as one of the top 10 most well preserved original dwellings in Korea that was constructed over the past 300 years.

Yeolhwadang is considered the most important structure on the property, as the male owner of the property resided in this building. This structure was given the name “Yeolhwadang” in order to promote happiness and joy among the relatives living there. Presently one can see a terrace that was added on courtesy of Russia.

Another important structure here is the picturesque Hwallaejeong. This structure was built in 1916 and is located just inside the main entrance. The lotus flower filled pond just in front of this building makes for a setting just as one might see in a traditional Korean painting.

First up was a small series of rooms (Hwallaejeong) hanging out over a small pond. Unfortunately the lotus flowers were not in bloom, so it actually looks pretty dead. Full of noisy frogs however.

We wandered around the place, guided by our new best friend who was a voluntary guide and also an ex-Highschool engrish teacher.

So many overlapping buildings gave some great rooflines

And some of the buildings and gates were just beautiful

Spiderweb for some atmosphere,

And more carved totem poles outside the gift shop (never seen wood penis keyrings before)

Thanks again to MKT for organising the trip. Spectacular.

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