Monument sights in Seoul
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Surrounded by dense woodland, the impressive buildings of World Heritage Jongmyo (www.cha.go.kr) house the spirit tablets of the Joseon kings and queens and some of their most loyal government officials. Their spirits are believed to reside in a special hole bored into the wooden tablets.
Near the entrance are two ponds, both square (representing the earth) with a round island (representing the heavens). The shrines are where earth meets the heavens, where the royal spirits come and go. The triple paths were originally built for the king, the crown prince and the spirits.
On the right are buildings which were used to store ritual vessels and incense. They now contain an…
This statue is a downtown landmark. Seoul-born Yi Sun-sin (1545–98) designed a new type of metal-clad warship called geobukseon (turtle boats), and used them to help achieve a series of stunning victories over the much larger Japanese navy that attacked Korea at the end of the 16th century. A geobukseon replica can be seen in the War Memorial & Museum.
The moving metallic shadow of a hammering man towers five storeys above the street. Funded by a local insurance company, the superman of a blacksmith has been silently hammering since 2002. It was made out of 50 tonnes of steel by American artist Jonathan Borofsky, whose art is humanist but mechanical, simple but thought-provoking. Is work just a meaningless ritual that dominates our lives?