Living with the Seoul City Wall, the Historic Landmark
The old fortification that has protected the capital city is now revived in the truest sense of the word, by the city and its constituents.
What do the ancient walls of Hanyang, the old name of Seoul, mean to the people of modern Seoul? Primarily, the walls are an invaluable cultural heritage and tourist attraction. On the other hand, they are a border fraught with tension between those who wish to preserve its history and those who wish to modernize the city. In modern Seoul, where the height of buildings is an indication of growth and prosperity, new buildings tower above the remaining old buildings resting their shoulders against the city walls. The areas around these aged walls has now become battleground where the obsession for growth clashes with the belated commitment to preserving history. The battle presents us with this question: Can we go beyond marketing our cultural heritage only for profit and create a climate favorable to both capitalism and history? When we contemplate this question and attempt to find an answer, Seoul will see a door open to a better tomorrow. — Introduction
CHAPTER 1 History of the Seoul City Wall
CHAPTER 2 Life Inside the Walls of Hanyang
CHAPTER 3 Destruction and Destructive “Restoration”
CHAPTER 4 Old City Walls: A Boon for Seoul
The author studied Korean history at Seoul National University and earned his doctorate at the same university with his dissertation titled ‘Korean Companies in the Early Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century.’ He taught at his alma mater, Catholic University of Korea, and Sangmyung University, and served crucial roles at various institutions. He was a standing research fellow at the Institute of Seoul Studies at University of Seoul, professor at the Seoul National University Hospital History and Cultural Center, research professor at Hanyang University Institute for East Asian Cultures, specialist at the Central Cultural Heritage Committee, and a member of the SMG Cultural Heritage Committee. Currently, he serves as the Deputy Director of the SMG Hangang River Citizens Committee and as a member of the SMG Citizens Committee for Cheonggyecheon Stream, SMG Urban Regeneration Committee and SMG Hanyang City Walls Advisory Committee. Jeon is an author of many publications, including “Into Seoul”, “The Birth of Modern Men”, “The Birth of Korean Companies”, “East of Seoul”, “Thus Speaks Korean History”, “Deep into Korean History” and “Times in 140 Characters.”
About the translator
So-Jin Park has studied at Yonsei University and the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. She has translated documents and publications by numerous South Korean government institutions, such as the Seoul Institute, Korea Tourism Organization, Korea Technology Finance Corporation, Korea Institute of Science and Technology, SH Corporation, Korea Environment & Water Works Institute, and Science and Technology Policy Institute.