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Andong: Tourists Attraction

Posted May. 09, 2001 08:40,   


Lonely raindrops are falling from the eaves. Climbing up the stairs and looking out through the gate, an empty sky is hovering over the horizon. Forgetting the lapse of time, rain drops through the empty sky before a towering pavilion

When the reporter visited the Taejang shrine of Andong Kim’s family, Andong, on May 7, Kim Young-Han (68, a descendent of the 27th generation) and his wife Kwon Kae-Nam were keeping the graves of the family.

The shrine was erected for the purpose of the memorial service of the progenitor TaeSa Kim Sun-Pyeong in the period of Yeongjo’s reign in Chosun dynasty. Kim Sun-Pyeong was a vassal of merits who supported Wanggun who was fighting for the decisive battle with Kyeon Hueon of the Late Baekjae.

``Every lunar November 10, all 300 members of Andong Kim’s family in Korean hat and Korean full-dress attire gather together for the family service and half of the family stays through the night here. During this one evening, we consume as much beef, figuratively speaking, even whole half of a cow.

Near is `Hwangbong main house of Uisung Kim’s family` in Keumgaeri, SeoHumyeon. This is the main house of Hakbong Kim Seong-Il, who directed the government army and patriotic soldiers during the Korean-Japanese war in Chosun dynasty (Imjinoeran). The inner house, where the eldest son of the head family Kim Shi-In (85) resides, is also open to the public. When the reporter asked to take picture of him, Kim said that he should wear Korean topcoat before taking the picture.

Hahwe Village is not far from there. Pungsan Yu’s family, the descendents of Seo-ae Yu Seong-Ryong, has lived here through generations. In this village, even ice-cream seller in the riverside said his family name is Yu.

Andong always reminds the tourists the historic sites such as Hahwe Village, Dosan SeoWon ( memorial hall for Dosan ), and Bongjeong Temple. However, Andong also have many other ancient architectures and relics, including the main house of Andong Kim’s family, the main house of Toegye, Byongsan Seowon, Hwacheon Seowon, and Ocheon relics of the Yae-an branch of Kwangsan Kim’s family, among many others.

There are 170 ancient buildings which are designated as treasuries and about 200 non-designated cultural properties in Andong. The organization committee of the Year of Architecture and Culture designated Andong as a site for the `Tour of Korean Architecture.`

Korean Broadcasting System established, nearby Andong dam, a studio set for the recording of its historical drama Wanggun. Andong city plans to construct an ancient architecture complex around this place and also, in the long run, the city will move to gather non-designated cultural properties here.

Andong city also established an ambitious 10 year project, in July last year, to develop Andong as an area of Confucian cultures, compared to Shilla cultural area of Kyongju and Baekje cultural area of Kongju.

The motto of this project is the historic sites and spiritual culture of Andong. Ha Jae-in, the director of the Culture and Tourism bureau of Andong, said that the city is trying to show tourists the hidden traditional culture as well as the renown historic sites. Andong city is also going ahead with the plan to open various rites to the public in cooperation with related clan-families.

Lee Won-Hong bluesky@donga.com