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Visit Jeongeup, cradle of history

April 16, 2012 - 19:09 By Chung Joo-won
Museong Seowon in Jeongeup, North Jeolla Province (Jeongeup City)
Fed up with hectic city life, but cannot spare more than a day off work? Put on a holiday outfit and head to Jeongeup, North Jeolla Province. If a timely break in peaceful traditional sites is what you need, this is a perfect place to cool off in the spring breeze.

Hikers who initially come for Mount Naejang soon discover that this beautiful city, about 230 kilometers south of Seoul, has much more to offer.

Naejang Temple

Founded in 660 A.D. under the name Yeongeun Temple, Naejang Temple has a 1,350-year history going back to the Baekje Kingdom. It has been repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt with the rise and fall of several kingdoms but the site remains today.

Naejang Temple is surrounded on three sides by beautiful mountain peaks, including Sinseon Peak, Yeongchui Peak and Seorae Peak. This historical temple still boasts captivating sceneries in all four seasons. North from Ilju Gate, the front gate of the temple, and past the soft-green mineral spring, is Byeokryeonamji, where the old Yeongeun Temple had been located.

Daeungjeon is a must-see part of the temple for those seeking spiritual-awakening.

Naejang Temple is in Naejang-dong, Jeongeup City.

Museong Seowon

Museong Seowon was given its name in 1696 by King Sukjong of Joseon. Seowon refers to Confucian educational institutions for the literati. This beautiful seowon structure was originally built to pay homage to Choi Chi-won, a revered scholar and official of the Unified Silla Kingdom.

Museong Seowon became even more famous as it survived the order of Daewon-gun (1820-1898), father of King Gojong, which destroyed seowons throughout the country. Strolling around this 300-year-old wooden structure, visitors can realize how Koreans emphasized harmony with nature as a starting point of all philosophy.

By Chung Joo-won (