OWL Magazine Korea

Goryeo Dynasty Relic: Gangneung Daedohobu Guanwa

Located about a 10-minute walk from Gangneung Jungang Market, which can be considered the center of Gangneung, you can find the historic site called “Gangneung Daedohobu Guanwa.”

This is the site where the central officials from the Goryeo Dynasty to the Joseon Dynasty used to stay when they came down to Gangneung. According to records from the Joseon Dynasty, it was established in the 19th year of King Taejo of Goryeo (936), but now only the Guest Reception Gate remains.

For reference, the Guest Reception Gate is National Treasure No. 51. It is one of the few remaining Goryeo Dynasty buildings, and it has a plaque with the inscription “Im Young Gwan,” which was written by King Gongmin.

“Im Young Gwan: Housing the Royal Tablet in Lieu of the King”

Im Young Gwan is a place where a tablet representing the king is enshrined since the king couldn’t be personally present when he was far away. It’s where the king’s decrees were received, and ceremonies were held for the enthronement, first and fifteenth days of the lunar month.

Upon entering the three gates of Im Young Gwan, you’ll encounter the first gate, Jungdaecheong. Although the purpose of the building in the style of Goryeo architecture is unknown, it is presumed to be a place for observations by government officials.

Behind Jungdaecheong, Jeondaecheong is the main space of the guest reception and Im Young Gwan, with a building size of 3 rooms in width and 3 rooms in length, making up 9 rooms in total. In Jeondaecheong, the king’s tablet was enshrined, and ceremonies were performed on special occasions.

Next to Jeondaecheong, Seoheon consists of 3 rooms in width and 3 rooms in length, including ondol (underfloor heating) rooms and a wooden floor, and it was a place where third-rank government officials stayed. Dongdaecheong, consisting of 4 rooms in width and 3 rooms in length, also included ondol rooms and a wooden floor. It was a place of higher status than Seoheon.

“During the Japanese Colonial Era, Daedohobu Guanwa was Also Used as a School Building”

In the past, during the Japanese Colonial Era, this place was also used as a school building. After the school was demolished, in 1967, Gangneung Police Station moved in, and currently, only the three gates of Im Young Gwan remain in the yard, known to have been restored in 2006.

Although it’s regrettable that only the Guest Reception Gate remains as the sole building that has survived in history, it’s a place where you can feel the history of Goryeo and Joseon Dynasty in Gangneung.

“Gangneung Downtown Walking Tour”

During this trip, we visited places within walking distance in downtown Gangneung. There is ample parking space at Gangneung Jungang Market, so we parked there and walked to Gangneung Daedohobu Guanwa through Wolhwa Street.

The distance from Wolhwa Street to Daedohobu Guanwa is about a 10-minute walk, so it was easy to visit without much difficulty.

“Gangneung Daedohobu Guanwa”