When we say Korea, the first place that people will probably think of is the city of Seoul. But Korea is more than just Seoul as there a lot of awesome place outside Seoul that people can travel to. Down south, there is a city called Nonsan which is located in South Chungcheong Province. Nonsan is an agricultural city which produces rice and other important crops. It is also the home of ROK Army Training Center where qualified Korean men complete their basic military training. I’ve been living in Nonsan City for a year and I recently discovered one of its treasured heritage few minutes away from where I live – Myeongjae’s House.
MYEONGJAE’S HOUSE INFRASTRACTURE
It is the house of famous Confucian scholar Myeongjae Yun Jeung (1629-1714). According to records, Myeongjae had a humble and simple life that even though the king offered him government position in several occasions, he chose to decline them all. Myeongjae’s House (명재고택) embraces over 300 years of history as the famous scholar once lived there. It is deemed as one of the most typical upper-class houses during the Joseon dynasty era but compare to other aristocrats’ homes, his house looks modern. It is said that its architectural style reflects Myeongjae’s character and ideals which exhibits refined interior and a scientific design. The house consists of a sarangchae (men’s quarters), anchae (women’s quarters), and daecheongmaru (main floored room).
The most notable feature of house is the visible rows of hundreds of onggi. Onngi are Korean earthenware pots where they store traditional sauces and condiments. The pots look fascinating but there are warning signs telling visitors not to touch it to preserve its quality.
MYEONGJAE’S HOUSE BEST PHOTO SPOTS
You can take adorable photos overlooking the whole place from the slope on the right side of the pots. This area leads to the forest with tall trees behind the house that is also good for taking photos. We visited towards the end of autumn so most of the leaves have already fallen on the ground. But nonetheless, we were still able to take a lot of good pictures.
Myeongjae’s residence also has a wide garden with a man-made pond. The pond’s color has turned into most green which made us wonder if it was really a pond or just a lawn. But when we take a look to check, it was indeed a pond with living fishes in it. The pond area is also a good place for picture taking.
ACTIVITIES AND FEES
Myeongjae’s house is open for public viewing and it’s free but some areas have limited access only. If you wish to stay overnight or experience traditional programs such as Gukak (Korean classical music), tea ceremony, natural dyeing and others, then you must reserve and pay certain fees.
It is just few meters away from Noseong Gwollisa, a place where the enshrined portrait of Confucius is located. There are only two such shrines that exist in Korea that is why Myeongjae’s house also has a special sense in Confucianism in the country.
HOW TO GET THERE
Address: 50, Noseongsanseong-gil, Noseong-myeon, Nonsan-si, Chungcheongnam-do
From Nonsan Bus Terminal or Nonsan Train Station, take bus no. 501, 504, 505, 508, 509 or 515 and drop off at Gyochonli Jeongnyujang (교촌리 정류장). Walk for about 8 minutes to get to Myeongjae’s House. Take note that there are 2 bus stops with the name “Gyochonli” (교촌리). Make sure to drop off at 교촌리 정류장.
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