Do you want to know about traditional Korean life? Instead of reading about it, why not experience it yourself? Visit Namsangol Hanok Village in Seoul! Just a few minutes away from Myeongdong.
Namsangol Hanok Village
Namsangol Hanok Village is a collection of 5 traditional ‘Hanok’ houses, traditional to the Joseon Dynasty of the late 19th century. The houses were recovered from different areas of Seoul and relocated to the northern foothills of Namsan Mountain.
Each house showcases the lifestyle of important figures of Joseon society, such as government officials, noblemen and wealthy aristocrats.
When you enter Namsangol Hanok Village you can see the Chungjeongsa Temple on your right. There are colourful lanterns that line the paths leading up to the temple entrance.
For the wealthy, a house included vast amounts of land and a beautiful garden. On that note, before you reach the hanoks, you can also see the restored ponds and pavilions that would’ve been typical of a noblemen’s garden in the Joseon Dynasty. In fact, the Cheonugak Pavillion and Cheonghakji Pond were summer vacation spots during that time.
Seoul Namsan Gukakdang
Additionally, Namsangol Hanok Village also houses the Seoul Namsan Gukakdang, a performance venue for traditional Korean music. It aims to promote traditional arts and share the beauty of traditional Korean music or ‘gugak.’ With a seating capacity of 300 people, the Hanok Village often hosts small events throughout the day.
Hanok: The Korean Traditional House
The five hanoks at Namsangol Hanok Village once belonged to aristocrats and government officials of the Joseon dynasty. What’s more, all except one were reconstructed using their original materials. From subtle differences their structures and amenities, the roles of each house-owner can be deduced.
Let’s take a look at the owners of each house in the Namsangol Hanok Village:
- Carpenter Yi Seung-eop’s House c. 1860
Built and occupied by master carpenter Yi Seung-eop, who lead reconstruction of Gyeongbokgung Palace between 1865-68 after it was destroyed during the Imjin War, over 2 centuries earlier.
- The Min Family’s House c. 1870
A large mansion that housed relatives of Empress Myeong-seong, also known as Queen Min, the first Empress of Korea.
- General Kim Choon-yeong’s House c. 1890
An L-Shaped house belonging to the highly-ranked Kim Choon-yeong, General of the Five Commands during the late Joseon era. The house is fully-furnished with amenities and decor traditional of the Joseon era.
- Yun Taek-yeong’s Jaesil c. 1907
A ‘jaesil’ is a small building, typically constructed close by to tombs, for families to perform ancestral rites. This particular jaesil belonged to nobleman Yun Taek-yeong, whose daughter Yun Jeung-sun, became the final Empress of Korea in 1907.
- Yun Family’s House c. 1910
Another royal home belonging to the uncle of Empress Sunjeong (Yun Jeung-sun), Yun Deok-yeong.
Seoul Millennium Time Capsule
In addition, you can also see the Seoul Millennium Time Capsule at the Namsangol Hanok Village. The time capsule was buried in 1994 at the highest mound of the village, commemorating Seoul’s 600th anniversary. The capsule is scheduled to be reopened 400 years later in 2394.
View of N Seoul Tower
Finally, you’ll also have a beautiful view of N Seoul Tower from the village, against a foreground of ornate Hanok rooftops and nature. It is especially stunning when the sky is clear.
Location and Getting There
Address: 28 Toegye-ro 34-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul Operating Hours: 9:00am - 9:00pm Apr ~ Oct, - 8:00pm Nov ~ Mar, closed Monday* Website: hanokmaeul.or.kr/en
** Due to ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, operating hours are 9:00am – 6:00pm until further notice
K Dramas Filmed at Namsangol Hanok Village
K Drama fans might recognise the Namsangol Hanok Village from the final episode of the series Record of Youth (2020) starring Park Bo-gum.
If you’re a K Drama fan, take a look at these Seoul K Drama itineraries below!
- 1-day Seoul Itinerary for Kdrama Fans
- 2-day Seoul Itinerary for Kdrama Fans
- 3-day Seoul Itinerary for Kdrama Fans
- 4-day Seoul Itinerary for Kdrama Fans
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