Namhansanseong Fortress: The Next “Great Wall” – Turning Namhansanseong Fortress into a famous tourist attraction
Createdd 2018-10-12 Hit 507
Gyeonggi Province will host prominent festivals and foster night tourism at Namhansanseong Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage site, in order to transform it into a global tourist attraction. In addition, the province plans to expand investment on existing infrastructure, such as the Namhansanseong Museum, surrounding parking lots, and small parks.
According to an official statement released on September 30, Gyeonggi Province is drafting a plan to develop Namhansanseong Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage site, into a tourist attraction. The province also plans to invest KRW 19.63 billion into this initiative by 2022.
First, starting in 2019, a “World Heritage Namhansanseong Culture Festival” will be held every October for the vitalization of UNESCO World Heritage content, and a “Namhansanseong UNESCO World Heritage Site Celebratory Festival” will be held every June starting from 2020. The festival in October, to be co-hosted with Gwangju City, will feature programs such as mountain fortress trekking, military and martial arts shows, traditional clothing from around the world, trimmings, food experiences, and more. The festival in June will celebrate the registration of the fortress as a UNESCO World Heritage site in June of 2014, and will feature programs such as a fortress marathon, a re-enactment of a royal procession in Namhansanseong, a symposium, and more.
Additionally, an open museum that incorporates the inner and outer walls of the fortress as well as other parts of the fortress in performances and experiential zones is in its planning stage. For this project, the province has earmarked KRW 280 million for the preservation and restoration of cultural artifacts before putting them on display.
Another focus of the project is the establishment of the Namhansanseong Museum, which is central to drawing attention and shedding light on valuable historical artifacts. The province will invest KRW 28 billion in the construction of a 3-story museum at a selected site (address: 987, Sanseong-ri, Namhansanseong-myeon, Gwangju-si, Gyeonggi-do). The museum will feature exhibitions, artifact storage, and historical/cultural archives, as well as performance halls and VR/AR centers through which visitors can experience the history of Namhansanseong Fortress. In addition, three traditional centers will be operated next year where visitors can enjoy traditional experiences like rice cake making and using a blacksmith’s workshop; these experiences will eventually be expanded.
Third, night tourism will be promoted through the establishment of stay-in vacations at the fortress. Starting next year, the province will install night lights in various locations including Namhansanseong’s temporary palace and command posts, and operate programs such as Cheongsachorong Joseon Couples, the Mysterious Fortress, and more. From 2020, plays, yard shows, and Korean traditional music performances will also take place during the evening, further promoting night tourism. Additionally, utilizing Buddhist temples such as Janggyeongsa as well as the Namhansan Elementary School, the province plans to host two-day experiential programs. It is also considering the purchase of surrounding areas for the construction of accommodations.
Fourth, to generate a traffic- and pollution-free city, an underground parking lot for 900 cars will be built in the vicinity of the Yangji Neighborhood Park in Seongnam, and the province is considering the feasibility of electric shuttle buses, cable cars, hot air balloons, monorails, and other means to transport tourists from the parking lot to the site.
Lastly, the province plans to feature Sanseong-ri inhabitants who reside inside the fortress and will collaborate with them in aspects such as traffic/parking management, custodian duties, and the sale of local foods.
A representative of the Gyeonggido Namhansanseong World Heritage Center stated, “Approximately 3,200,000 people visit Namhansanseong Fortress annually, and it is known to be a leading tourist attraction.” The representative added that authorities “plan on managing and preserving the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site, as well as developing various contents to make the fortress even more of a global tourist location.”