[South Coast] Travel to every corner of the South Coast with Admiral Yi Sun-sin: Day 1

Photo Galleries

Travel to every corner of the South Coast with Admiral Yi Sun-sin

Day 1:Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea Promotion Center-Lunch-Chungminsa-Jinnamgwan-Shipbuilding Yard-Suncheon Japanese Castle-Dinner and free time

1. Time travel to Marine City of the future, Expo 2012 Promotion Center

Photo Galleries

The official mascots of the Yeosu Expo

Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea will be held for three months from May 12 to August 12, 2012, under the theme, “The Living Ocean and Coast.” The global fair will give Yeosu the momentum it needs to become the world’s first marine IT city and the world’s fifth marine power, achievements that will result in significant spillover effects in diverse areas, including the economy, science, and technology. The Shanghai Expo resulted in 3.5 times more economic benefits than the Beijing Olympics. What are the benefits expected from the Yeosu Expo? The answer to that question can be found at the Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea Promotion Center, which features the history of world expos, the competitive bidding process, tourist information related to Yeosu, and the vision of the Yeosu Expo.

The official mascots of the Yeosu Expo

The five pillars used to sustain the Promotion Center building symbolize the five oceans, and the building’s unique lighting scheme represents Yeosu citizens’ hope for the future. The film screened in the video room on the first floor of the Promotion Center showcases the beauty of Yeosu and the Expo’s advanced design. The second floor takes four themes as its inspiration and displays a digital ocean, truly capturing the Yeosu Expo’s main theme and concept, “The Living Ocean and Coast.” The displays show the significance of the Yeosu Expo and the computer room allows the public to learn more about the oceans. The deck on the second floor gives an open view of the ocean garden, which is 13 times larger than a soccer field. Children’s messages of hope for the Yeosu Expo are on display in clear cylinders.

The Yeosu Expo mascots, Yeony and Suny, personified planktons, stand outside the Promotion Center, welcoming visitors. The “Yeo” in “Yeony” refers to “open,” and the “Su” in “Suny” means “water” and “excellent.” Ten streetlights and five landscape lights surrounding the Promotion Center are powered by the wind power generator located in the garden behind the building, an initiative for environmental conservation.

– Tips –

  • Use the contents of the Promotion Center to imagine the positive impact the Yeosu Expo will have on Korea’s marine industry and Yeosu as a marine IT city
  • Take a souvenir photo with the Expo mascots, Yeony and Suny

– User’s Guide –

  • Address: Jeollanam-do Yeosu-si Sujeong-dong 335-7
  • Telephone: 061-690-8290
  • Website: http://www.expo2012.or.kr
  • Opening hours: 09:00 – 18:00
  • Admission fee: Free
  • Parking fee: Free
  • Photogenic spot: Yeony and Suny at the entrance of the Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea Promotion Center

2. Chungminsa First to enshrine Admiral Yi’s tablets

Photo Galleries

Chungminsa

Chungminsa is surrounded by the foothills of Maraesan Mountain. It is place where rituals honoring Admiral Yi are performed, even now. Visitors to Chungminsa first see a large park on a gentle slope where locals rest or stroll. The red spiked gate a few minutes away on the hill hints at the piousness of this place. Pass through the red gate and you will see the stone stairs that lead you to the shrine where Admiral Yi’s portrait is kept.

Portrait of Admiral Yi

Built in 1601 by the king, Chungminsa is the first shrine erected to honor Admiral Yi. While Chungryeolsa in Tongyeong and Hyeunchungsa in Asan are also dedicated to Admiral Yi, Chungminsa was built five years earlier than the former and 103 years earlier than the latter. At Chungminsa, the portrait of Admiral Yi is in the center, and Yi Eok-ki and Ahn Hong-guk, who joined Admiral Yi to fight against Japan, are on his left and right, respectively. Chungminsa was destroyed in 1868, but was rebuilt later in 1873.

Gallery

The museum located to the right of the park is guarded by a bronze statue of armor-clad Admiral Yi, who holds a sword high in the air. Although most of the items on display are replicas, visitors can take a close look at diverse documents related to Admiral Yi, his Turtle Ship, and the weapons and objects used during the war. The cannons and guns used by the Korean navy during the war are displayed outside the museum.

– Tips –

  • Learn how rituals honoring Admiral Yi are performed
  • Take a look around the relics museum

User’s Guide –

  • Address: Jeollanam-do Yeosu-si Deokchung-dong 1829
  • Telephone: 061-690-7339
  • Website: http://www.yeosutravel.net
  • Opening hours: 09:00 – 18:00
  • Admission fee: Free
  • Parking fee: Free
  • Guide: 061-690-2036 (Yeosu City Tourism Division)
  • Photogenic spot: It is a bit of a challenge to take a photo of Chungminsa from the exact “right” angle. Photos including the red spiked gate with the park as the backdrop seem to work well, though, to capture the essence of this peaceful place.

3. Jinnamgwan, Korea’s largest single-story wooden building

Photo Galleries

Jinnamgwan is the headquarters of the Left Jeolla Naval District. Admiral Yi observed the ocean and held meetings in preparation for Japanese invasion at Jinnamgwan. Standing in front of Jinnamgwan, you may be overwhelmed by the gigantic size of the building, as it is the largest single-story wooden building in Korea (except for the royal palaces). It measures 75 m in length and 14 m in height, and is supported by sixty-eight 2.4 m-round pillars. The foundation stones in their natural form were intended to give the building a more natural look. The nail holes on the columns were made by the Japanese who installed windows between the columns in order to use the building as a school.

Jinnamgwan

The checkered floor pattern and the exposed rafters on the high ceiling of Jinnamgwan give a sense of openness. The two dragons, each with a magic bead in its mouth, painted on each crossbeam protect the building’s interior. The building was constructed as a warning to the enemy, as the word “Jinnam” in “Jinnamgwan” literally means “to suppress the south.” The building was also used to receive central government officials. It is believed that there used to be seven stone statues standing in the courtyard that were used as part of the strategy to defend the building against the Japanese army, but only one of them remains now. The museum on the site explains how Jinnamgwan was built and the methods used by the Korean navy to defend the country against Japanese invasion. The uniforms of the Korean navy are also on display.

– Tips –

  • Discover the unique characteristics of Korea’s largest single-story wooden building
  • Learn about the historical significance of Yeosu in relation to Admiral Yi (Admiral Yi is on the 100-won coin)

– User’s Guide –

  • Address: Jeollanam-do Yeosu Gunja-dong 472
  • Telephone: 061-690-7338
  • Website: http://www.yeosutravel.net
  • Opening hours: 07:00 – 18:00
  • Admission fee: Free
  • Parking fee: Free
  • Guide: 061-690-2036 (Yeosu City Tourism Division)
  • Photogenic spot: To capture Jinnamgwan from different angles, go to the rooftop of the commercial building across from it. Please note, however, that permission from the building manager is required.

4. The yard where Turtle Ships were built and repaired

Photo Galleries

Gulgang, Historical shipbuilding yard

When it comes to Admiral Yi, the first thing that comes to mind is the Turtle Ship. While the two are inseparable, the ship is actually not Admiral Yi’s invention. The earliest historical source documenting the Turtle Ship is the Annals of the Joseon Dynasty written in 1415, from which scholars surmised that the Turtle Ship first came into existence in the late Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392). Nevertheless, Admiral Yi is noted as being the one who made the best Turtle Ship, using it to defeat the enemy during the Korea-Japan War of the 16th century. He also built more advanced ships with General Na Dae-yong.

Admiral Yi built and repaired his famous turtle ships in Sijeon-dong, Yeosu. The Panokseon, a famous Korean warship in the Joseon Dynasty, was also built there.

Standing at the entrance to the shipbuilding yard the first thing you will see is a rock with “Shipbuilding Village” engraved on it and a couple of “beoksu,” Korean totem poles made of stone or wood. The stone beoksu serve as village boundary markers and guardians. Unfortunately, the beoksu in the shipbuilding yard are severely damaged.

Upon entering the shipbuilding yard, you will see the “gulgang” first. This circular stone moorage is roughly 42 m in diameter and large enough to accommodate two Turtle Ships. In addition, the hut where weapons were made and repaired has also been restored at the site. While some believe the 1.4 m-tall stone pole is a mooring post, scholars think it may have actually served as an ocean guardian.

There were three separate excavations of the shipbuilding yard in Yeosu. The first was conducted by a team of museum researchers affiliated with Sunchon University in 1944; the second was by a Republic of Korea Naval Academy excavation team in 1980; and the third was by a group of researchers from Myongji University in 1985. The 565 relics that were discovered during the excavations are now housed at the Gwangju National Museum, but will be moved to the Yeosu Museum when it is completed. The shipbuilding yard in Yeosu is designated as National Historic Site No. 392.

– Tips-

  • Picture a Turtle Ship berthed in the shipbuilding yard – what would it look like?
  • What do you think the 1.4 m-tall stone post was used for?

– User’s Guide –

  • Address: Jeollanam-do Yeosu Sijeon-dong 708
  • Telephone: 061-690-2228
  • Website: http://www.yeosutravel.net
  • Opening hours: 00:00 – 00:00
  • Admission fee: Free
  • Parking fee: No information
  • Guide: 061-690-2036 (Yeosu City Tourism Division)
  • Photogenic site: Take photos of the “gulgang ” and the trees around it using a wide angle lens.

5. Suncheon Japanese Castel, A base built by the Japanese army

Photo Galleries

Cheonsugidan

Suncheon Japanese Castle is a three-story outpost built with stone and mud by the Japanese army. Japanese General Konishi Yukinaga completed the castle in three months and stationed some 14,000 Japanese soldiers there to attack the southern region of Korea. The allied force – comprised of the Korean navy and the Ming Chinese navy led by Admiral Yi and Chen Lin, respectively –attacked the castle twice with no success. Later the Japanese army was defeated by the Korean navy led by Admiral Yi on its way back to Japan in the famous Battle of Noryang.

The Japanese army built 30 castles in Korea during the Korea-Japan War and 29 of them were in Gyeongsangdo; the Suncheon Japanese Castle is the only one in Jeollado.

 The Suncheon Japanese Castle stands on land measuring 120,595 ㎡. Its outer wall is 2,502 m in length and its inner wall is 1, 342 m in length. Consisting of three outside mud and stone castles, three main stone castles, and 12 castle gates, the castle is circumscribed by a moat and linked to land by a bridge. Munji and Cheonsugidan and part of the moat and wall were restored during the first-phase of a restoration project that began in 2007. The castle was in an ideal location at that time as it was surrounded by water on three sides. Now the moat is filled in, which makes the castle accessible in all directions.

The entrance of the parking lot is decorated with a painting by a Chinese artist who came to Korea with the Ming Chinese army during the Korea-Japan War in the 16th century. The painting commemorates the defeat of the Japanese army.

A part of the painting vividly captures the allied force of the Korean navy and the Ming Chinese army attacking the Suncheon Japanese Castle in an amphibious operation.

The moat above the parking lot was filled with seawater in the past, but is now filled with freshwater and freshwater plants like lotus.

Take a stroll along the path to the left of the moat for a minute or so and you will see the first Munji, the main entrance between the main castle and the outer fortress. The second Munji is some 50 m away from the first one and to the left.

“ㄱ”-shaped Munji

The second Munji is a “ㄱ”-shaped entrance that leads to the pine forest 300 m away and the giant fortress wall on the left. Some portions of the fortress wall and Cheonsugidan were restored. Cheonsugidan is the platform on which the Cheongu building stood.

Pines growing on the restored fortress wall below Cheonsugidan

The Cheongsu building, which looks like a three-story building, is actually a five-story building that gives a panoramic view of the village and the ocean behind the roads and the industrial complex. Go down along the fortress wall and take a close look around Suncheon Japanese Castle.

– Tips –

  • Learn about the castles Japan built in Korea
  • Find out how Korean castles differ from their Japanese counterparts

 – User’s Guide –

  • Address: Jeollanam-do Suncheon Haeryong-myeon Sinseong-ri San 1
  • Opening hours: 00:00 – 00:00
  • Admission fee: Free
  • Parking fee: Free

source: eng.expo2012.kr

Advertisements