Arisu Storytelling Course
The Story of Seoul as told by the Hangang (River), which is the lifeline of the 2,000-year old city of Seoul.
- 4 Major Hangang (River) Park Courses
- Yeouido Story Course 「Miracle of Hangang (River)」
- Nanji Story Course 「Nature-Side Nanji」
- Banpo Story Course 「Manmade Nature, Banpo」
- Manmade Nature「Time Travel on Bicycle」
If you want to listen to the Han River’s story about the changes and history of Seoul, take a walk along Hangang Park.Seoul City has created storytelling tour courses in four locations along Hangang Park. You can walk or ride a bike and explore a number of the interesting stories that are hidden in the many sites along the Hangang (River). Let’s take our tour along the Hangang (River),which holds 2,000 years of Seoul’s history.
Each of the story courses in the four parks of the『Arisu Storytelling Tour』has a theme to demonstrate the history of the Hangang (River).In Yeouido’s story course of the, 「Miracle of the Hangang (River)」, you will be able to walk in Yeouido Park and learn about the history of Yeouido and Seoul, the change in Hangang’s bridges, and the history of Maponaru.Along the「Nature-Side Nanji」course, you can hear new stories about the Hangang (River) and how the dumping ground, Nanji, was reborn into an ecological park. Along Banpo’s 「Manmade Nature」course, visitors can see Seoraeseom and the Moonlight Rainbow Fountain, which is listedin the Guinness Book of World Records. The course will also show special man-made structures, such as the Joseon Dynasty’s baedari (boat bridge). While taking a bicycle tour in Ttukseom, you can learn about the history of the Hangang (River) via stories of people who enjoyed the river just as much as you do now.
Seoul’s soar starts from Yeouido, ‘Miracle of Hangang (River)’ Yeouido Story Course
Yeouido Story Course 「Miracle of Hangang (River)」
Total length2.07㎞ Duration40 minutes
- Yeouido Hangang Park Entrance
- Nogeumsu Plaza
- Cascade Plaza/Floating Stage
- Bamseom Viewpoint
1. The Hangang Park Entrance for Yeouido
- Yeouido is the heart of Seoul. It is where Wall Street,
the National Assembly Building, and broadcasting companies are located.
- The Yeouido Hangang Park has the highest number of visitors from among all of the other Hangang Parks, and its well maintained appearance is surely one of the landmarks that best represents the city of Seoul.
- Transportation Information : Get off at Yeouinaru Station on Subway Line 5, Exit 3
- The citizens of Seoul have been working very hard as they go through industrialization and economic development, and Nogeumsu Plaza offers them a small, but peaceful rest area.
3. Cascade Plaza / Cascade Stage
- The first retractable water stage in the world is located next to the Cascade Stage.
- Its beautiful geometric dome shape demonstrate the Hangang (River) and Yeouido’s transformation into an advanced and modern resting area.
- Because of its excellent view, Bamseom island has been known as Yuldomyeongsa (meaning a beautiful scenery of white sand field). It is one of eight beautiful sceneries in Mapo.
- After the island was exploded. in 1968, reeds start to grow and water birds returned to Bamseom in the 90s. The island is now recognized as being the barometer of the Hangang (River)’s ecological restoration.
- Bamseom is currently protected under the international Ramsar
- Convention for the conservation of wetlands.
From dumping ground to ecological treasure ‘Nature-Side Nanji’ Nanji Story Course
Nanji Story Course 「Nature-Side Nanji」
Total length2.0㎞ Duration40 minutes
- Hangang Wildlife Exploration Center
- Ecology Exploration Road
- Bird Observatory
- Ring Walk
- Reed Wind Road
- Riverside Water Playground
- Jungang Bridge (Nanji Haneuldari (Bridge))
Location : Nanji Hangang Park in Sangam-dong, Mapo-gu
Transportation Information : Take a red bus number 9707 (towards Gajwa-dong) and get off at Nanji Hangang Park bus stop
1. The Hangang Wildlife Exploration Center
- At the center, visitors can see diverse works of art and get all the information they need on the wild animals of the Hangang (River).
- From the rooftop of the center, visitors can see a wide ecological wetland and the beautiful scenery of Nanji Hangang Park.
- From the observatory, visitors can get the closest view of The diverse migratory birds that visit the Hangang (River) in the winter.
- This circular wooden deck traverses an ecological wetland center.
- The walkway has been constructed over the Hangang (River) so that visitors can get a closer look of the river from any angle along this course.
4. Galdaebaram-gil (Reed Wind Trail)
- This beautiful reed forest is located along the riverside and allows visitors to enjoy the reeds and the Hangang (River) all at once.
- Visitors can enjoy the river breezes and dancing reeds here. It is also the best place to enjoy the bright glow of the setting sun.
Natural harmony between the Hangang (River) and people, Banpo ‘Manmade Nature’ Banpo Story Course
Banpo Story Course 「Manmade Nature, Banpo」
Total length1.7㎞ Duration40 minutes
- Jamsugyo (Bridge)
- Floating Island
- Moonlight Plaza
- When the Hangang (River) rises during the rainy season or in heavy rain, Jamsugyo (Bridge) disappears like magic.
- Many citizens love to walk along Jamsugyo (Bridge).
- The bridge provides important strategic information during wartime.
- The Floating Island is a building that has been constructed on a floating structure.
- The three islands are connected to the bottom of the river with chains and cables, and these islands are connected by bridges so that the islands and Banpo Hangang Park are connected.
- This landmark performs diverse functions of serving as scenery, providing entertainment, hosting conventions, promoting water sports, and more.
- The Media Art Gallery, which is right next to the island, allows for the hosting of various events and performances with its gigantic LED and comprehensive control systems.
- This manmade island was constructed in the 1980s during the comprehensive development of the Hangang (River).
- Diverse flowers and plants come and go throughout the year, and a beautiful reed field and waterside walkway attract couples to visitthis famous tourist attraction in Banpo.
- The Seoraeseom Canola Festival is held in the spring, and a the Seoraeseom Buckwheat Festival is held in the fall.
4. Rainbow Fountain at Moonlight Plaza
- The Moonlight Rainbow Fountain is registered in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest bridge fountain in the world. It creates a magnificent spectacle as it spreads out its wings of water from both sides of Banpodaegyo(Bridge).
- 190 landscape lights illuminate the water streams in various colors.
- The show is displayed every 15 minutes. It is held twice during the weekdays at 20:00 and 21:00, and three times during the weekends and holidays at 20:00, 20:30, and 21:00.
- The hours of operation may change due to weather such as rain or storms, various events, or energy saving requirements.
Time Travel on Bicycle ‘Road to History’ Manmade Nature
Manmade Nature 「Time Travel on Bicycle」
Total length5.53㎞ Duration60 minutes
- Ttukseom Park
- Riverside Deck
- Seongsudaegyo (Bridge)
- Ipseokpo (Dock)
- Eungbonggyo (Bridge)
- Salgojidari (Bridge)
- Jabeolle Hall is a long and thin pipe-shaped structure that looks like the caterpillar of the geometer moth.
- Various exhibitions take place inside Jabeolle Hall throughout the year. There are other facilities located inside, including an observatory, rest area, restaurant, and café. All of which offer a cultural rest area for visitors.
- To get to the View Culture Complex, go to Exit 3 of Ttukseom Park Station on Subway Line No. 7 and walk along the passageway.
- Operation: March – October 10:00 -24:00 / November – February 10:00-23:00 Open all year round, free admission.
2. Rest area below Seongsudaegyo (Bridge)
- Seongsudaegyo (Bridge) cannot be left out from the modern history of Korea. On October 21, 1994, Seongsudaegyo (Bridge) collapsed.
- Near the bridge, there is a passage to Seoul Forest, so visitors can choose to enter Seoul Forest to go for a walk. Under the bridge is the best place to take a break from riding your bike along the river.
- Ipseokpo Dock used to be a small port located at the point where the Hangang (River) and Jungnangcheon Stream meet.
- The name Ipseokpo came from the Chinese words that mean, “large rocks standing like humans around the Hangang (River).”
- A natural fishing site has been formed as there are big rocks at the site where the Hangang (River) and Jungnangcheon (Stream) meet.
- This bridge, which is located right next to Hanyang University, is the oldest existing stone bridge in Korea, and it was designated as Historic Site No. 160 on December 15, 1967.
- Over half of the bridge was originally damaged and lost, and the city of Seoul repaired and restored it in 1973.
Seoul Baekje Palace road Storytelling
Pungnaptoseong Fortress and Mongchontoseong Fortress in Songpa-gu, are wonderful places to take a walk. They are perhaps the most beautiful walking course in Seoul. They are very close to the Hangang (River), making them easily accessible by bicycle or on foot. The open grassy fields and green scenery are perfect for picnics with family, friends, or a date. Despite its popularity, very few people know that the park was once the center of the Baekje, an ancient Korean dynasty. While walking along the Seoul Baekje Palace road, let’s learn more about the Baekje Dynasty, which was a kingdom that flourished some 2,000 years ago.
The core and longest section of this path consists of two earthen fortifications. One is Pungnaptoseong Fortress, which is right outside Cheonho Station, and the other is Monchontoseong Fortress, which is also called Olympic Park. The two earthen fortifications were built during the Baekje Dynasty, which was an ancient kingdom that flourished on the Korea Peninsula. The Seoul Baekje Palace road connects these two Baekje fortifications and tells the tale of a magnificent ancient kingdom. Are you ready to go?
- Cheonho Station (Story Panel)
- Pungnap Market
- Mirae Village
- Gyeongdang District
- Palace Well
- Site of Pungnaptoseong Fortress
- Chiljido (seven branched knife) Statue
- Mongchontoseong Fortress (Story Panel)
- Mangwoldae Observatory in Mongchontoseong Fortress
- Mongchon Museum of History
- Wooden Barricade
- Dugout Hut Gallery
- Seoul Baekje Museum (Story Panel)
- Seoul Baekje Museum
7. Chiljido (seven branched sword)
- The Chiljido, which was thought to be a holy knife at the time, was presented as a gift from the Baekje Dynasty to Japan in the 4th century. It has since been designated as one of Japan’s national treasures.
- Korean and Japanese historians have yet to agree on whether the sword was sent to Japan’s king as tribute or bestowed to Japan as a gift.
- Location :Under Seongdonggyo (Bridge) in front of the Songpa-gu Football Field
10. The Mongchon Museum of History
- The Mongchon Museum of History is an annex of the Seoul Baekje Museum. It is dedicated to Seoul’s ancient history and culture and serves as an education facility for children.
- Situated within the walls of Mongchontoseong Fortress (Historic Site No. 297), the museum was opened in January 1992.
- It exhibits cultural relics and historic artifacts such as dugout huts from the Bronze Age; Pungnaptoseong Fortress and ongchontoseong Fortress, which were part of the capital area of the Baekje Dynasty; and ancient tombs that date back to the Three Kingdoms Dynasty.
- The Mongchon Museum of History offers various educational programs and cultural events for children.
- Location :88-3, Bangi-dong
- Operation :9:00am – 6:00pm
- The Dugout Hut Gallery is located on the southern part of the fortress wall, near the east gate.
- The gallery exhibits four dugout hut sites and storage holes, which were excavated during the construction of Olympic Park in 1988.
- The exhibits show hexagonal dugout huts and residential sites, which were typical during the Baekje Dynasty.
- The ondol (A Korean floor-heating system) from that time is also on display in the northeast corner of the hut.
- Location :88-6, Bangi-dong, Songpa-gu
- Operation :9:00am – 6:00pm
- The Seoul Baekje Museum was established as a museum and a cultural space to define the cultural identity of Seoul, which is the 2,000 year-old capital of Korea. It was also established to display the historic relics that were excavated from Pungnaptoseong Fortress, which dates back to the Hanseong Baekje Dynasty.
- The building consists of two basements below ground and two floors above ground.
- Visitors can see a cross-sectional view of Pungnaptoseong Fortress and artifacts, which were found in the Seoul area, ranging from prehistoric times to the Hanseong Baekje Dynasty.
- The museum holds various special exhibitions and various programs, such as cultural experience activities, academic research symposiums, education, and events.
- The Hanseong Baekje Museum is located at the last section of this course. This allows for visitors to reminisce on their tour of the area while viewing exhibits from the Hanseong Baekje Dynasty’s culture, clothing, and food, and it’s advanced shipbuilding techniques, as well as on the size of Pungnaptoseong Fortress and the architectural techniques that were employed in its construction.
- Location :71, Uiseong-daero, Songpa-gu (88-20, Bangi-dong)
- Operation :09:00am – 9:00 pm
(09:00 am – 7:00 pm on weekends & holidays; 09:00 am – 6:00 pm November – February)
Sejong-daero and Hangeul Gaon-gil Storytelling
Gaon is an old Korean word that means “center” or “in the middle.” This course consists of places that are related to the stories of Hangeul, such as Gyeongbokgung Palace, which is where the Korean alphabet was created; the headquarters of the Korean Language Society; and the site of the house where a Hangeul scholar, Ju Si-gyeong, used to live! The course starts at Sejong-daero, which is where the statue of King Sejong the Great is situated, then moves onto Hangeul Gaon Street, which is the central area related to Hangeul.
While thinking about Korean ancestors who dedicated their life to the creation and transmission of Hangeul, visitors will soon find themselves in the downtown area of the city surrounded with beautiful landscapes. Barely anything remains from Korea’s olden days in today’s bustling downtown, but visitors will be able to get some inspiration while discovering hidden stories along the Hangeul Gaon Street.
Sejong-daero and Hangeul Gaon-gil Storytelling
Total Length2.5㎞ Total Time Needed40 min
- The Story of King Sejong the Great (Statue of King Sejong the Great)
- Gwanghwamun Square
- Gyeongbokgung Palace
- Sejongno Park
- Sejong Center
- Sejong Art Garden
- The Salvation Army Office Building
- The Korean Language Society
- Doryeom Green Square
- Site of the Wongaksa
- Seoul Museum of History
- Even after the promulgation of Hunminjeongeum (The Correct/Proper Sounds for the Instruction of the People), King Sejong’s lieges during the Joseon Dynasty opposed the use of Hangeul.
- One day, the dissenting lieges were summoned to the palace one after another. They each received a document stating their offense, but none of them was able to read it because the document was written in Hangeul. The lieges had no choice but to learn how to read Hangeul to prove their innocence. This was part of King Sejong the Great’s wise strategy to spread the use of Hangeul.
- Location :1-1, Sejong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
- By the 18th century, when Hangeul was being widely used among commoners, numerous novels and story books were written in Hangeul.
- Some people in Hanyang made a living by reading the books aloud in public, and these people were called Jeongisu. Gwanghwamun Square used to be crowded with people who came to hear them read stories.
- Location :Sejong-daero, Jongno-gu, Seoul
- Sejongno Park is located on the right-hand side of the street if you face Gwanghwamun Square with your back to Gyeongbokgung Palace.
- The number of possible combinations of Hangeul letters is 11,172. At Sejongno Park, visitors can see all 11,172 combinations.
- A language and its writings are said to reflect people’s mentality. Each letter contains the story of the person who wrote it.
- Visitors can get to know each writer if they enter into their smart phone the QR code that is next to the letter.
- Location :Sejong-daero, Jongno-gu, Seoul
4. Statue of King Sejong the Great and the Story of King Sejong the Great
- Standing right in the middle of Sejong-daero is the statue of King Sejong the Great, who created Hangeul, the Korean alphabet.
- The exhibition hall for The Story of King Sejong the Great is situated in the basement directly under the statue.
- The exhibition hall displays exhibits on Hangeul and King Sejong, and offers Hangeul-related experience programs, such as making rubbings of old documents or Hangeul works of art or making badges among other exciting activities.
- Location :175, the underground of Sejong-daero (underneath the statue of King Sejong the Great)
- King Sejong had perceived certain similarities between the musical scale and the movements of the mouth while he was humming along to a zither player’s tune. The great king applied his discovery to the creation of Hangeul.
- The name Sejong Center is to remember King Sejong’s contributions to flourishing Korean culture.
- The music that inspired King Sejong’s creation of Hangeul still thrives today at Sejong Center, which is the center of culture and art in Seoul in the 21st century.
- Location :81-3, Sejong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
6. Sejong Art Garden (Site of Jangyewon)
- The Jangyewon, which handled lawsuits related to slaves during the Joseon Dynasty, used to be located at the back of the current day Sejong Center.
- By the mid to late Joseon Dynasty, Hangeul had become so widespread that even slaves could read and write in Hangeul.
- In October 1692, a nobleman named Song Gyu-ryeom wrote a letter to Gichuk, a slave who did not pay his fees after using his farm land. The landlord was so desperate that he ended up writing the letter in Hangeul for the slave Gichuk to read. This incident very clearly shows how widely Hangeul was used during the Joseon Dynasty.
- Location :Rear courtyard of the Sejong Center
7. The Salvation Army Office Building (Hangeul 10-Madang)
- After getting to Saemunan-ro 3-gil, take a left towards Sinmun-ro Street. The Salvation Army Office Building is located at the end of the street.
- Ten stories related to Hangeul are displayed on the wall of The Salvation Army Office Building.
- The most dramatic, enchanting incidents found from Hangeul’s 600-year history are depicted in vivid paintings on the wall. These include stories of Hangeul being used as a military code during the Imjinweran War, which was the Japanese invasion of Korea in 1592; of poor Ju Yang-U, who was punished for teaching Hangeul to the Chinese; and Operation Malmoi, which was a nationwide operation that both commoners and scholars participated in collecting Korean words for the publication of Korea’s first Korean language dictionary.
- Location :58-3, Sinmun-ro 1-ga, Jongno-gu, Seoul
8. The Korean Language Society
- If departing from the Salvation Army Office Building, the Korean Language Society is the 3rd building on the right after walking up along the Saemunan-ro 3-gil.
- The Korean Language Society was founded by Ju Si-gyeong and Kim Jeong-jin in 1908 under the name of “The Korean Studies Society,” but it’s name was changed to its current name in September 1949.
- At present, the Society is operating various projects to study, standardize, and develop the Korean language. It leads Hangeul research projects and discussions, as well as other interesting campaigns, to promote the proper use of Hangeul.
- Location :58-14, Sinmun-ro 1-ga, Jongno-gu, Seoul
- In the near future, statues of Ju Si-gyeong and Homer Hulbert, two men who were dedicated to the research and development of Hangeul, will be erected in the park, which is located right across from the Gyeonghuigung Achim 4-danji.
- Dr. Hulbert, who was an American citizen, made a significant contribution to developing and promoting the use of Hangeul. He was also recognized by the Korean government in July 2013, as an activist who contributed to Korea gaining its independence from Japan.
- He claimed that Hangeul is the most scientific language, and dedicated himself to raising the world’s awareness about the excellence of Hangeul.
- Location :100, Dangju-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Yongbieocheonga (The Site of Ju Si-gyeong’s Home)
- After walking toward north along Saemunan-ro 3-gil Street, a building named Yongbieocheonga, which was named after the first book written entirely in Hangeul, will appear. It is a modern commercial-residential building, but it was built on the former site of scholar Ju Si-gyeong’s home.
- During the Japanese Occupation Dynasty, he worked as a Hangeul teacher. Due to the shortage of Hangeul teachers, he taught 40 hours a week for 16 schools in the areas of Jeong-dong, Namdaemun, and Jongno in Seoul and he commuted on foot from one school to another.
- He dedicated his entire life to the research of Hangeul, and in 1914, the great educator died in his home at the young age of 39.
- Location :75, Naesu-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul