[Stories on the Road] Meaning of the road

The Path of Namhansanseong



"Stories on the Road" is a story about a UNESCO World Heritage site and a story. It will tell you the life and spirit of our ancestors in the ancient road of The old Namhansanseong path.

On the way to gather wood


A woodcutter shouldering a pack of wood


"A place to gather wood with the memories of our grandparents"


Some residents who lived outside the capital city purchased wood for use, but would generally cut down trees themselves in the mountains. This also means that gathering wood was an ordinary task for people of the Joseon period, when fire was made every day to cook three meals and heat the house. In areas adjacent to the old Namhansanseong path, people would frequently transport wood back and forth. Because it was difficult to find wood near Seoul, those who lived south of the Hangang River had to travel to Namhansanseong Fortress to gather wood. This way of living utilizing wood as fuel continued throughout the Joseon Dynasty, the Japanese occupation period, the modern era, and even to the 1960s when coal briquettes became widely used as a fuel source. As coal briquettes solidified their status in the 1970s as the primary fuel for living and new energy sources such as petroleum and gas were introduced, wood gradually declined in everyday usage. Also, nationwide afforestation businesses were conducted between the 1960s and 1970s as national projects, which led to bare mountains slowly becoming thickly wooded forests, and the countless woodcutters who used to pass through the old Namhansanseong path gradually disappeared.


Roads and old paths

“Old roads into which the traces of old lives are immersed, and the disappearing traces of lives”


The old Namhansanseong path is a road filled with the joys and sorrows of many scholars taking examinations and the bobusang and jangdolbaengi who traveled from one marketplace to another with their goods on their backs. It is an old road with the traces of the lives of many people, but now these old roads are going to make way for cars. It is sad to see the continuous disappearance of the signs of life carried on and layered by countless people, the faith in Seonangdang and Jangseung that had been maintained for thousands of years, and the yeokcham and mabang through which secret royal inspectors with mapae would travel and from which pabal personnel borrowed horses and delivered emergency communication about enemy threats. Furthermore, people are forgetting the memories of the volunteer troops gathering and defeating enemies, and their march to Seoul, as well as people evacuating and returning home later on the same path. Although we may not retrogress on social changes that seek efficiency and convenience, shouldn’t we leave the traces of our ancestors’ lives that have been recorded on the paths for thousands of years before clearing them away for cars?

#Namhansanseong #The Path of Namhansanseong #Seonangdang #Jangseung #mabnag

@Nam Chan-Won @Bae JeongMin @Hong Seong-Gu

    • Stories on the Road

      Published by/ Namhansanseong World Heritage Centre, Gyeonggi-do The Center for Gyeonggi Studies, Gyeonggi Cultural Foundation

      Published on/ November 24, 2017

      Supervised by/ Lee Ji-hoon, Director of the Center for Gyeonggi Studies, Gyeonggi Cultural Foundation

      Planned and coordinated by/ Chae Chi-yong, Senior Researcher at the Center for Gyeonggi Studies, Gyeonggi Cultural Foundation Park Da-seul, Researcher at the Center for Gyeonggi Studies, Gyeonggi Cultural Foundation

  • ggc

    Writer/ GyeongGi Cultural Foundation

    About/ Everything about the GyeongGi arts and culture, GGCF

  • ggc

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