Gangwon Gamyeong is an old government facility area where the Gangwon Province governor performed various official tasks.
The governor used the Seonhwadang building as his office (more on this below).
Gangwon Gamyeong used to have many structures to facilitate various administrative needs of the old province. Most of the structures, according to the inscription, were destroyed during the Imjin War in 1592, the event when the Japanese invaded Korea.
When constructing the facility, here is what the inscription said:
"Mayor Yi Bae-Won started the efforts to build the lodging in 1634… and his successor Yi Joong-Gil and governor Kang Hong-Jun joined forces for construction. As for structures of Gamyeong, governor Yi Mahn-Yeong started the building process of Seonhwadang in the west of the lodging in 1665 (Hyungjong 6), and governor Yi Hu-San completed the construction of 31 sections in 1667."
What I found interesting at this attraction is the historical background, and the structures build and what is left of the whole area.
It is more exciting to visit this place when darkness comes. The lighting is fantastic and offers a romantic, especially among young couples.
The whole office area would have looked much better and more complex having more structures that cannot be seen at present.
However, with what has remained or what have been rebuilt are also interesting to be explored. I believe that most of the wooden structures are the rebuilt ones.
But one cannot doubt that some relics, such as the stone sculptures, stone works, and such durable materials are parts and pieces of the originals. And so they are worth one's visit.
The following are my arrangements of the structures based on my taste and observation as to what goes first...
The Main Gate & the Second Gate
Seonhwadang is an old provincial government building where the governor used to carry out his public service roles for agriculture, taxation, military, judicial, administrative and handling civil complaints, among others.
This intricately built structure was used as the office of Gangwon governors until 1896 when the Gangwon Gamyeong was moved to Chuncheon. This was also used as a provincial office when the Korean War broke out in 1950.
By the way, the word 'seonhwadang' means that the building is for "praising the Kings and for enlightening people."
Residence of the Governor's Family
The home is called 'Nae-A' and was the main building where the governor's family stayed during the Joseon period. Nae-A is a Mindori type of house with 'ondol' (heated floor) sections and a storage room.
Nae-A was used for a long time during the Joseon Period. It had undergone various repairs. When the Gangwon Gamyeong restoration project started, the whole building was said to be disassembled and made it as its present form.
"HaengGak was sub-building of JeongDang, which was (the) main building of (the) palace or Buddhist Temple located at both sides. Haenggak was one of (the) left side buildings of Seonhwadang. Seonhwadang had 3 sub-buildings, HaengGak, BoSeonGo and GongGo in the order from North. Site for these 3 buildings was assumed sharing space, not divided for each one from old mapping records. Additionally, it was not divided clearly in a floor plan made for excavating investigation to restore GangWonGamYeong in 2000. Restoration of HaengGak was planned 7 sections in front and 2 sections inside as counter-lifting roof structure. In 2009, this restoration plan started (the) second step to make small exhibition space and library for the history of GangWonGamYeong and restoration replica".
Small Gate to the Pond
Old Zelkova Tree
This Zelkova serrata Tree is the only big tree you can find inside the area. You could imagine how it witnessed to everything that happened around it in the past over 600 years.
According to the notice carved on a wooden board beside the tree, the calculated age was 600 years old in 1983 on the 3rd of November.
It is approximately 25 meters high and around 600 centimeters in trunk circumference. I noticed that many branches were cut off.
Therefore, I could imagine how gigantic it is if it's standing proudly with all those branches.
View of the Outside Wall
Let me include the places I have explored in this section. You might be interested in them. Simply click the page to see descriptions and photos...
Also, I listed down the other places which I will visit or explore for my next coming.
When you are already in Wonju City, you can take any bus the passes this route. The route is the main road, and so one can find many buses from Wonju Intercity Bus Terminal or Wonju Express Bus Terminal for this direction.
Taking a taxi from the bus station or train station is not bad as well. It will only take 15 minutes from any of those stations.
My taxi from Wonju Intercity Bus Terminal passed by Gamyeong, which is just a couple of minutes from my hotel.
Since I stayed one block away from Gangwon Gamyeong, it was a great plus for me. I stayed in a motel which offered me the best rate I could find. Free WiFi, computer access, games (if you want), full-screen TV, aircon, washroom with a bidet.
Nearby, you can also choose from among the hotels I linked below…
Feel free to search more accommodation offers through the Search Box available above on the right-hand sidebar on this page.
Thanks for reading through this short article.
Should you have questions, please let me know by any means possible.
Enjoy your travels.