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Exploring Andong: A Cultural and Historical Gem South Korea

Exploring Andong: A Cultural and Historical Gem South Korea

Exploring Andong: A Cultural and Historical Gem South Korea 



Andong, located just two hours away from Seoul's Cheongnyangni Station via the KTX high-speed rail, is a city celebrated for its rich cultural heritage and picturesque landscapes. In 2020, the Ministry of Culture bestowed upon Andong the title of "Tourism Hub City", alongside other notable South Korean cities. Since then, the Korea Tourism Organization has actively promoted international tourism in these designated cities. 


Andong is particularly renowned for its association with Talchum, the traditional mask dance, which is deeply ingrained in the city's history and expressed through oral traditions, social customs, and the art of crafting masks. In November of the previous year, Talchum received recognition from UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage. Hahoebyeolsingut-talnori, a Talchum genre with roots in Hahoe Village, Andong, boasts a history spanning over 800 years. The Andong Maskdance Festival, an annual event since 1997, is an integral part of the Byeolsingut Festival, celebrating this tradition. 

Beyond the festival, Andong offers a wealth of history and cultural experiences. The Yi Yuksa Literary Museum pays tribute to the literary legacy of Yi Won-rok, an independence activist and poet. Yi Yuksa, his pen name, was derived from his prison cell number, "264," during his internment in a Japanese prison. Visitors can explore his life, including his early years in Andong and his achievements as a poet. Nearby, the 264 Winery produces white wines from Korean Cheongsu grapes and offers wine tasting. The winery was inspired by Yi Yuksa's 'Green Grapes' poem. 



For first-time visitors, Andong's seowon, traditional Confucian academies from the Joseon era, are must-see. Among them, Dosan Seowon and Byeongsan Seowon are UNESCO World Heritage sites. Yekki Village, a short drive from Dosan Seowon, boasts captivating mural paintings and has transformed abandoned buildings into galleries, cafes, and restaurants. It's situated adjacent to the Andong Seonbi Sullye-gil, a fantastic trail-walking route for enthusiasts. Andong is a city where time-honored traditions, vibrant culture, and natural beauty harmoniously coexist, making it an alluring destination for both domestic and international travelers. 

Source: Kim Hae-yeon, The Korean Herald, 2023  

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