The famous Korean “Great South Gate – Sungnyemun”, better known as the Namdaemun (南大門) to Koreans and tourists, was swallowed up by fire after some lousy 69 years old man named Chae, blazed it up in flames. When I saw this on news, I was like, “What a waste of a beautiful national heritage of Korea.” I visited it before when I went for a trip visit to Seoul and am glad that I’ve got a shot of it while it was still standing boldly, reflecting its time with the world for 6 centuries. It is said that it will take 3 years and $21 million to rebuild the structure. Here’s a simple explanation of the Namdaemun. Sigh, I hope nobody would be that dumb to destroy such important treasures to us.
“Namdaemun, made of wood and stone with a two-tiered, pagoda-shaped tiled roof, was completed in 1398 and served as the main southern entrance to Seoul, which was then a walled city. It was the oldest wooden structure in the country, an iconic reminder of old Korea in this modern Asian city, the capital of South Korea, and a major tourist attraction. The site is surrounded by a bustling commercial district. Lately, homeless people had sought shelter there. The gate survived the Chinese and Japanese invasions that devastated the city. It was repaired several times, most recently after the Korean War of 1950 to 1953. When the South Korean government cataloged its national treasures in 1962, it gave the gate the No. 1 ranking. Some historians opposed that designation because Japanese invasion forces had passed through it in the late 16th century to destroy Seoul.”