Tuesday, May 21, 2013

숭례문 - Sungnyemun

Also known as 남대문 (Namdaemun), Sungnyemun is one of the eight historical gates of Seoul. Sungnyemun means Gate of Exalted Ceremonies while Namdaemun means Great South Gate. It is considered Korea's national treasure number 1.

It was on my list of things to check out before our trip, but every time I tried to find it on Google Maps, all I could see was this big white building. As it turns out, some crazy old man burnt it down five years ago and the white building housed its reconstruction. We saw part of a documentary showing how the gate was rebuilt by hand by master craftsmen using traditional techniques. Lucky for us, the restored Sungnyemun was reopened to the public the day before we landed.

Right before our trip, I was doing more Google searches and I stumbled across a Lego Architecture rendition of Sungnyemun. I didn't expect to find it, but when I did see it at an eMart store in Korea, I obviously had to pick it up. Below is a photo of the finished product and here is a time-lapse video of its construction.