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Parks

Seoul has different types of parks. These include ecological parks designed with the preservation of certain rare types of flora and fauna in mind, and its small and medium-sized parks that provide an environmentally-friendly setting with diverse fun faclilities for the whole family.

Park


History of Namsan Park
Namsan was initially known as Ingyeong; However, when Taejo(Lee Seong-Gye) moved the capital from Gaeseong to Seoul, according to the theory of divination, based on topography, Ahnsan has since been called Namsan(Mt.) (Nam meaning South) as it was located in the south of Seoul. Sacred temples were constructed in Bugaksan(Mt.) and Namsan(Mt.) and ancestor worshipping ceremonies were held for the peace of the country. The temples in Namsan(Mt.) served the mountain god which was called Mongmyeok Daewang, and thus they were called Mongmyeok Temple; Since it was built by the country, it has also been called Guksadang. Since then Ingyeongsan has been called Mongmyeoksan. It is said that on the Octagonal Plaza of Namsan(Mt.) there used to be the Guksadang.

The Guksadang was demolished in 1925 during the Japanese Imperial era, and in the location of the old botanical garden the Japanese built a Japanese temple called Joseon Singung and forced Koreans to worship the Japanese war god. The demolished Guksadang was moved to the western skirt of Inwangsan(Mt.) and has been there until now. Namsan(Mt.) was the Japanese military's garrison during the Japanese Invasion of Korea in 1592 and has been called 'Wua JanTu' by the residents. The Japanese regarded the location as a sacred ground and built a 3,000 pyeong (3.954sq. yds.) 'Wua Sung Tae Gongwon' and installed roads and 600 cherry blossoms. They also built a temple called 'Daesungung' on the grounds of current Soongeui School. 300,000 pyeong (3.954sq. yds.) was donated to Hanyang Park (currently, the Sukjae landmark is located in the No.3 tunnel entrance) in 1908 with no charges. A Residency-General was built in the former NIS building, a Provost Marshal H.Q. in the current Namsangol's traditional Korean-style village(Namsangol Hanok Village), as well as Joseon Shingung and Dongbonwonsa as they carried out the invasion.

In 1925 the Japanese closed down the Guksadang and built Jangchungdan Park where they planted thousands of cherry blossoms and spoiled Namsan(Mt.), the symbol of Korean spirit. They tried to destroy the spiritual mindset of Koreans. During the Japanese Imperial period, government general order no.118 designated the 105,000 pyeong (3.954sq. Yds.) wide Namsan(Mt.) as 'Namsan Road Park', on March 12, 1940, and thus the name 'Namsan Park' was established. During the period of the Korean War, refugees from the North took residence in the outskirts of Namsan(Mt.), and thus it was even called 'Haebangchon'.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government carried out the 'Taking Namsan's Original Form' project, from 1991 to 1998, by moving away the past invasion facilities and restoring its original form. The park facilities were enhanced so that it could function as a citizens' park. The project included moving the past 89 facilities, which included 21 governmental facilities, 52 foreign residents, and 16 private residents. On November 30, 1994 at 3:00 pm, two of Namsan KNHC-built apartment blocks were demolished. During these events, a number of people came over from the Bokwang-dong and Hannam-dong areas. The project developed the past foreign residential complex into an open botanical garden, and as the Namsan Park was restored in the areas of Yejang-dong and Hwahyun-dong of Jung-gu and Hannam-dong of Yongsan-gu, it truly changed into a people’s park.

Location of Namsan Park
The Namsan Park is approximately at latitude 37。32'08", longitude 126。58'56" and is the mountain that symbolizes Seoul. It is located at the heart of capital hanging over Jung-gu and Yongsan-gu. In Jung-gu, there is Namdaemuno 5(o)-ga, Shindang-dong, Namchang-dong, Namsan-dong 2-ga, Hoehyeon-dong 1-ga, Yejang-dong, Pil-dong 2-ga, Jangchung-dong 2-ga; in Yongsan-gu is Huam-dong, Yongsan-dong 2-ga, Itaewon-dong, and Hannam-dong. Near the park is Dongguk University, Seoul Arts University, Soongeui Women's College, Huam Elementary School, Yongahn School, and Hilton Hotel, Hyatt Hotel, Banyan Tree Hotel, Hotel Shilla and 4 famous hotels. Also nearby is the Yongsan Library, Namsan Gym, and Jayu Center, all making use of the Namsam Park's outstanding scene.

Height of Namsan Park
Namsan is in the middle of Seoul and is 265m high landmark. It is lower than Seoul's Inwangsan(Mt.) (338m), Bugaksan(Mt.) (342m) and higher than Naksan(Mt.) (125m). It includes N Seoul Tower (236.7m), which enables visitors to observe the Seoul areas, and a communication beacon from the Joseon Dynasty that has been restored.

Ecology of Namsan Park
Namsan Park is an ecological park surrounded by the city, and it has 85 families, 280 genera and 552 species of animals in total. It also has 43 families, 93 genera, and 191 species of woody plants. The major species of trees are Mongolian trees, acacia trees, Scrophularia buergeriana, Palbae trees, and wild cherry trees. Broadleaf trees account for 76.6% and needle-leaf trees, like pine trees and pine nut trees, account for 23.3%. The pine trees, which are referred to in the Korean National Anthem, account for 20.2% of the woody trees, so it is important to protect and plant more pine trees. Namsan has 42 families, 187 genera and 361 species of herbal plants. The most common ones are Namsan violets, fern brakes, maples, fairy-bells, lilies, and dayflowers, Makmoon-dong lilies and foreign herbs, like hollow herbs, account for 30%, and thus we should protect Korean native plants. Even though Namsa Park is located in the middle of the city, there are 7 families, 26 genera, and 61 species of wild animals. There are 7 families, 24 genera, and 59 species of birds living there, and they are sparrows, magpies, pigeons, pheasants, bush warblers, pale thrushes, cuckoos, long tailed tits, and granny birds, and so on. And there are 2 families and 2 species of animals, such as squirrel and mice.