Inwangsan Mountain Trail
Excursions Along The Wall
Inwangsan Mountain Trail
- Site of Donuimun Gate ~ Changuimun Gate
- Distance: 4.0km / Away: about 2 hours 30 minutes
Inwangsan Mountain Trail
Section : Site of Donuimun Gate ~ Changuimun Gate
Distance : 4.0km
Away : about 2 hours 30 minutes
This walking course runs from Site of Donuimun to the Yun Dong-ju Hill, via Inwangsan (339m), which is situated to the right of Seoul’s four inner mountains. Inwangsan is also known as a rocky mountain characterized by unusual rock formations including Chimabawi (Rock of women’s skirt), Seonbawi (Rock of meditating monk), and Gichabawi (Rock of train). The name “Inwang” is a Buddhist term, and it is said that a Korean Buddhist monk named Muhak (1327~1405) once declared that if Inwangsan ever became one of the country’s principal mountains, Buddhism would flourish here. Access to the mountain was prohibited after a unit of the North Korean Special Forces infiltrated Seoul on 21 January 1968, and it was not reopened to the public until 1993.
• Opening Hours : 24 hours
• Yun Dong-ju Literary Museum – Summer (March ~ Oct.) 10:00~18:00 / Winter (Nov. ~ Feb.) 10:00~17:00 (Closed every Monday, and during the Chuseok (Harvest Moon) and Seollal (Lunar New Year) holidays
• Notice: As Inwangsan has many rocky sections, visitors take extra care, especially in winter.
• Guide Tip: The Sajik Daeje (National Rite to Gods of the Earth and Grains; Important Intangible Cultural Heritage No. 111) is held at Sajikdan Altar by the Corporate Mutual Association of the Jeonju Lee Clan on the third Sunday of every September.
[Site of Donuimun]
❺ Seodaemun Station Exit 4 → 2 minutes on foot / Jongno Town Bus No.05 → Get off at the Kangbuk Samsung Medical Center → 1 minute on foot
[Gyeonghuigung] ❺ Gwanghwamun Station Exit 1 → 5 minutes on foot
[Sajikdan] ❸ Gyeongbokgung Station Exit 1 → 5 minutes on foot
[Guksadang of Inwangsan] ❸ Dongnimmun Station Exit 2 → 20 minutes on foot
[Inwangsan (toward Beombawi Rock)] ❸ Muakjae Station Exit 2 → 30 minutes on foot
[Inwangsan (toward the Top)] ❸ Gyeongbokgung Station Exit 3 → Jongno Town Bus No. 09 → Get off at Okin Apartment → 30 minutes on foot
[Inwangsan (toward Gichabawi Rock)] ❸ Hongje Station Exit 2 → Jongno Town Bus No. 07 → Get off at Ant Village → 15 minutes on foot
[Yun Dong-ju’s Hill] ❸ Gyeongbokgung Palace Station Exit 3 → Green Bus No. 7212 or 1020 or 7022 → Get off at Jahamungogae → 2 minutes on foot
Section main points
Gyeonggyojang served as the office of the Korean provisional government from 1945 to 1946, and was also the home of Kim Gu, the head of the provisional government from 1945 to 1949, the year he was assassinated there. It later served as the residence of the ambassador of the Republic of China, the residence of the Vietnamese ambassador, and then as a hospital, among other functions. In March 2013, Gyeonggyojang was restored as the home of Kim Gu and opened to the public.
Traces of Hanyangdoseong
During the construction of Woram Neighborhood Park, some parts of the wall were unearthed from below the embankment of the wall of Seoul Welfare Foundation building (former offices of the Korea Meteorological Services). Further traces of the wall can be seen behind the parking lot of the town houses around Hong Nan-pa's House in Hongpa-dong.
Hong Nanpa's House in Hongpa-dong
This house was inhabited by Nan Pa Hong Yeong-hu (1898~1941), the composer of such well-known songs as Bongseonhwa (a Balsam), and Hometown’s Spring. He composed most of his best-known pieces here. This Western-style building from the 1930s has been preserved well.
Dilkusha (Tailor’s House)
Dilkusha (“Palace of Hope” in Hindi) is a western-style building built and inhabited from 1923-42 by Albert Taylor, a gold mine engineer and United Press International correspondent in Seoul. Located next to the house is a 450-year-old gingko tree, which is said to have been brought from the home of General Gwon Yul (1537-1599), the Joseon general who led the Korean forces to victory against Japan at the battle of Haengju Fortress (1592). The name of Haengchon-dong originated from this story.
Guksadang Shrine of Inwangsan and Seonbawi Rock
Guksadang was initially built at the summit of Namsan Mountain during the reign of King Taejo of Joseon, but was dismantled and restored at its present location on the western ridge of Inwangsan at the order of the Japanese Imperial government, which built the Shinto Shrine on the site. Seonbawi, above Guksadang, is said to resemble a monk absorbed in Zen meditation. There is a saying that Jeong DoJeon, an influential aristocrat and politician in early Joseon who was opposed to Buddhism, modified the boundary of Hanyangdoseong in order to place this rock beyond the wall.
Hanok village (Sangchon or Udae), west of Gyeongbokgung Palace
Many urban-style hanok built during the Japanese Colonial Period have been preserved in this community between Inwangsan and Gyeongbokgung. The village, known as Sangchon or Udae in late Joseon, was home to many lowlevel officials because it was close to the palace and government offices. Towards the end of Joseon, the village found itself at the center of the Yeohang (i.e. classes below the elite) literature, as non-yangban (non-ruling caste) intellectuals organized their poetry club here. Since the modern period, prominent figures like poets Yi Sang and Yun Dong-ju, and the artists No Cheon-myeong, Yi Jung-seop, Cheon Gyeong-ja, and Lee Sang-beom, have lived and worked here.
The Wall Section Showing Different Building Techniques
On the Inwangsan trail is a place where it is possible to see the different techniques used in different periods to build the wall. The long section at the crossroads by Tangchundaeseong, passing via Chimabawi Rock from the top of Inwangsan, was built with various stone block types at different times, along with the street next to outside the wall.
Yun Dong-ju Hill and Literary Museum
This area was established as a park around Changuimun, near the western slopes of Inwangsan, to commemorate the literary spirit of Yun Dong-ju, a famous poet known for his lyric poetry and resistance poetry against Japan, as he lived near this hill during his time at Yeonhui Vocational School. A large stone inscribed with his most famous poem, Seosi, is located at the top of the hill, near the Yun Dong-ju Literary Museum.
Changuimun, situated on the northwest section of the wall, between mounts Inwangsan and Baegak, is the only auxiliary gate whose gate tower has survived to the present day. This gate tower was destroyed in 1592 during the war against Japan, and was reconstructed in 1741. Changuimun is now also known as Jahamun, since the scenery around the gate seems similar to that of scenic site Jahadong in Gaegyeong, the capital of Goryeo.