[South Coast] Travel to every corner of the South Coast with Admiral Yi Sun-sin: Day 2

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

Day 2:Gwangyang Steelworks-Lunch-Namhae Chungryeolsa Shrine-Gwaneumpo, Site of Admiral Yi’s death-Yi Sun-sin Theater (3D film)-Dinner and free time

1. Visit to the world’s largest steel mill, Gwangyang Stellworks

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Scenery of Gwangyang Steelworks

Gwangyang Steelworks is Korea’s second oldest steel mill after the one in Pohang that was built in the 1970s during Korea’s industrial revolution. As the most in demand steelmaker in the world, Gwangyang Steelworks is equipped with the most advanced, environment-friendly facilities. Gwangyang was originally a fishing village. Since 1982, however, Gwangyang has continued to expand its area by reclamation and exploding 11 out of 13 islands. As a result, Gwangyang Steelworks is 5.5 times bigger than Yeoui Island in Seoul. Dubbed the “steel mill on the sea,” Gwangyang Steelworks is the largest single steel plant and produces over 18 million tons of steel every year that is used in automobiles, ships, electronics, etc. The plant uses its own exclusive technology and contributes significantly to national economic growth.

The tour begins with the viewing of a 12-minute promotional film about the history of the plant and the steel manufacturing process in the 330-seat Multi-purpose Hall.

A bus then takes you to the plant where you first learn how molten iron flowing from the blast furnace becomes steel. You follow the process all the way through, observing liquid iron cast into long slabs, which are then cold rolled into sheet metal.

Inside the Gwangyang Steelworks plant

The coil of 1.2 mm-thick hot rolled steel may look like a roll of toilet paper, but it is in fact a high value-added 1 km-long and 21-ton product worth 6 million won. The thick cloud of white smoke coming from the chimney is not harmful gas but the steam produced while cooling the steel with water. The heat of the coiled steel rolls turns the plant into a gigantic sauna. Workers are rarely seen in the plant, as processes are carried out using an automated production system. The plant is open to group visitors on weekdays (Monday through Friday) and individual visitors only once a week, on Sunday. Individual visitors should take the shuttle bus in front of the POSCO Welfare Center at 10 am on Sunday. Individual guided tours take about an hour.


– 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 Gwanyang Geumho-dong 700
  • Telephone: 061-790-2447
  • Website: http://www.posco.co.kr
  • Opening hours: 09:00 – 15:00
  • Admission fee: Free
  • Guide: Available upon request
  • Photogenic spots: The scenery of the steel mill, night views of Gwangyang Steelworks and Gaya Park near the Gaya Tunnel as seen from Gayasan Mountain Road (Please note that taking photos inside the steel mill is prohibited.)

2. Namhae Chungryeolsa, Temporary burial site for Admiral Yi

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Namhae Chungryeolsa is a shrine built to honor Admiral Yi after his death at the Battle of Noryang, which is why it is often referred to as “Noryang Chungryeolsa.” As it was the temporary burial site for Admiral Yi, a group of Confucian scholars built a small house here in 1632, 34 years after his death, to honor him. In 1658, the small house was replaced with the present shrine.

Namhae Chungryeolsa

Yi Sun-sin was buried here for a time before he was moved to Gogeum Island later on. His body was then moved to Geumseongsan Mountain in February 1599, and then to his final resting place on Eorasan Mountain in 1614. Chungryeolsa stands inside the outer gate above the management office. The tablet hung on the outer gate was a gift from King Hyeonjong in 1663. The Chungryeolsa stele is above the inner gate. The monument pavilion and the shrine are inside the inner gate.

Stele pavilion erected in commemoration of Admiral Yi

Inscribed on the monument inside the pavilion is “The Tombstone of Yi Chungmugong.” The monument was erected by Park Gyeong-ji in 1663 and the epitaph inscribed on the monument was written by Song Si-yeol in 1661. Behind the shrine is the grave where Yi was temporarily buried.

Chungryeolsa is a kind of guardian shrine that keeps watch over the Noryang Strait. The Noryang Strait is just outside the outer gate, and it is there Admiral Yi was shot by a stray bullet. The Namhaedaegyo Bridge across the Noryang Strait has turned this quiet island village into a major tourist attraction. The village also has a life-size model of Admiral Yi’s Turtle Ship on display on the sea. The sunset between the Namhaedaegyo Bridge and the Turtle Ship dyes the sea red, creating an unforgettable scene.

– Tips –

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

– User’s Guides –

  • Address: Gyeongsangnam-do Namhae-gun Seolcheon-myeon Noryang-ri 350
  • Telephone: 055-862-2840
  • Opening hours: 09:00 – 18:00
  • Admission fee: Free
  • Parking fee: Free

3. Gwaneumpo, Site of Admiral Yi’s death

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Cheommangdae, the pavilion with an open view of Gwaneumpo

Gwaneumpo (Historic Site No. 232) is the very place where Admiral Yi engaged in his final battle. The battle on Gwaneumpo, better known as the Battle of Noryang, is the naval campaign carried out on November 19, 1958 in which Admiral Yi led the allied force of 150 Korean and Ming Chinese ships to attack some 500 retreating Japanese warships.

The Battle of Noryang was fiercer than any other campaign Admiral Yi launched, as it was the one through which Admiral Yi was determined to put an end to the Korea-Japan War by sweeping the enemy troops. It was fatal for both sides. Admiral Yi was shot by a stray bullet on the sea of Gwaneumpo while chasing the retreating Japanese commander Konishi Yukinaga.


Iraksa is the shrine built by Yi Hang-gwon, the 8th-generation descendant of Admiral Yi, in 1832, to honor Admiral Yi. The shrine consists of a pavilion with a monument inside and a tablet with the phrase, “A big star falls to the sea,” written on it, as well as a stele with an inscription written by Hong Seok-ju and another monument erected in 1973. Cheommangdae overlooks Gwaneumpo and Gwangyang Bay, as well as the monument erected at the entrance to Iraksa in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of Admiral Yi’s death. A beautiful path that stretches some 500 m in the woods links Iraksa to Cheommangdae.

– 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: Gyeongnam Namhae-gun Gohyeon-myeon Chameon-ri San 125
  • Telephone: 055-863-4025
  • Opening hours: 09:00 – 18:00
  • Admission fee: Free
  • Parking fee: Free
  • Guide: 055-863-4025
  • Photogenic spots: The tree-lined path leading to Iraksa, Cheommangdae

4. Yi Sun-sin Theater, Where the Battle of Noryang is revisited on film

Yi Sun-sin Theater

Enjoy a dramatic film that vividly captures the Battle of Noryang at the Yi Sun-sin Theater. Opened in December 2008, the Yi Sun-sin Theater stands on a lot measuring 23,000 ㎡ and houses a 3D theater, an Exhibition Hall, a Tourist Information Office, and a shop that sells agricultural products. The 138-seat 3D theater is Korea’s first dome theater that features a wall-to-ceiling screen offering audiences more vivid images. The reclining chairs allow spectators to enjoy the 3D movie experience from every angle. The 3D glasses provided to visitors are big enough to fit over regular eyeglasses.

The Exhibition Hall, which consists of four sites, “Experience,” “Emotion,” “Understanding,” and “Remembrance,” presents the history of the Korea-Japan War, and facts about Admiral Yi’s life and the Turtle Ship, all of which help visitors understand in greater depth the life and times of Admiral Yi. You can enjoy a digital version of the Battle of Noryang on two multi-vision monitors, one placed on each side of the audience, which show the Korean navy on one side and the Japanese navy on the other, making the audience feel they are in the middle of the battle.

– Tips –

  • Find out why Admiral Yi risked his life to capture the Japanese commander at the Battle of Noryang

source: eng.expo2012.kr