Sunday, February 10, 2008

A piece of history gone

Have you heard the news about Namdaemun (the Great South Gate) in Seoul was destroyed by fire last night? The 610 years old wooden structure, marked as the No. 1 national treasure of Korea, has collapsed after 5 hours of burning. I think Namdaemun was no stranger to any Korean drama fans. It was a gateway to the very bustling and popular Namdaemun Market. Both places have always been favourite backdrops for so many famous dramas - like First Love, Stairway to Heaven. Can you think of anymore?




The Gate, also called Sungnyemun or 'Gate of Exalted Ceremonies', was constructed in 1398 during the reign of King Taejo, who founded the Joseon Dynasty. It served as the main southern entrance to the (then walled) capital city of Seoul. The Gate was opened to the public in 2006 and it must be devastated for Koreans to lose a piece of this important history. Knowing how patriotic our Yong Joon is, he must feel a big sense of loss :( And same for the sisters who have visited Namdaemun, they must have their own memories of this landmark too. A
s someone who loves art, literature and history, what can you say when a treasure of historical scale is gone forever? .....

10 comments:

HeippieH said...

Sorry to read about this sad news. Thanks for bring it up. What was the cause of the fire? I am sure HRH will feel very sad about losing this landmark of his country.

jaime said...

hi my dear h,

so happy to hear from you. how's everything.

the cause is arson as some shopkeeper spotted a man in his 50s walked up the stairs to the gate with a bag, then hurried out. There is also suspicion of faulty electrical wiring. The firefighters blamed the cultural officials would not open up the inside chamber for them to put off the fire. Looks like there is some finger pointing going on already.

I love your avatar, he's so young and fresh there. please take care, ok?

love ... jaime

bb said...

yea, very sad case... hopefully they'll be able to restore whatever's left standing, and also rebuild whatever that's become ashes.

jaime said...

yeah so sad, bb. I see you have also blogged about it, guess you must have meant something to you since you have visited Korea so many times.

love .. jaime

bb said...

yea.... kindda sad... it's such a landmark...

they're saying it will take at least 2-3 years to rebuild...

Anonymous said...

This is awful,
must be a hard blow for all Koreans,
we can only hope they will rebuilt, restore, and do what ever it takes to bring it back.

Moontime

Tamar said...

Fortunately, they do have detailed blueprints from the touchup they did in the early 60's so it should be easy to rebuild. I remember seeing it 10 years ago before they built up the other stuff around it. What a tragedy.

jaime said...

hi moontime,

I think it's a heartbreak for Koreans, especially for those who pass by it everyday to go to school or work. I think with today's technology on new materials and skills, anything can be replicated - but I guess it's just not the same anymore.

I am glad that there're already talks about rebuilding though, that's a positive way to deal with tragedies.

love ... jaime

jaime said...

Hi tamar,

So you have seen this historical monument? In Yong Joon's First Love, there are many shots of Namdaemun at night with spotlights shining onto it, very beautiful indeed. Hope you are not too sad.
Like what you said, fortunately there are blueprints and records of the structure if they decide to rebuild.

love ... jaime

Tamar said...

I took a history minor in college so I love old, historical stuff. I cried when I heard about this and I'm not Korean. 600 years of history up in smoke like that?!