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Friday, 25 April 2014

Gwanghallu Garden, Namwon, Northern Jeolla: LOVE is in the air.


Gwanghallu Garden (Hanja: (廣寒樓苑) in 1447 Yocheon Avenue/Yocheonno, CheonGeo-dong 78-beonji, Namwon City, Northern Jeolla Province is a Korean-style park complete with ponds, streams, bridges and pavilions where legends says two famous lovers in Korean lore, Seong Chunhyang (a favorite heroine in Korean literature) and Lee Mong-ryong (son of an aristocrat), spent their evenings.

Also known as Gwangtongnu (광통루/廣通樓), Gwanghallu Garden was originally built by Joseon Prime Minister, Hwang Hui in 1419 (2nd Reigning Year of King Sejong the Great). Because of its surreal beauty, Governor Jeong In-ji gave the garden the name ‘Gwanghallu’ in 1444, comparing it to a palace on the moon. It is famous as the location where Lee Mong-ryong and Seong Chunhyang (two lovers from a well-known Korean folk story) first met. 

In the 1920’s Chunhyangsa Temple was established in the neighboring area and a portrait of Chunhyang was hung in a place of honor. On May 5th of every year, the garden is the venue of the Chunhyangje Festival, celebrating the deep and lasting love of the famous couple. 

Namwon City, where the garden is located, contains many historical relics such as the Maninuichong Tomb, Gwanghallu, Ojak Bridge, Gyoryong Fortress, Hwangsan Great Battle Monument Site, and Silsangsa Temple, as well as tourist courses such as the Namwon Tourist Site, Susang Amusement Park, Chunhyang Theme Park, Music Fountain, and Mount Jiri National Park.