The west side of Gyeongbokgung Palace refers to the area stretching from the west of Gyeongbokgung Palace to the foot of Inwangsan Mountain. During the Joseon period it was a residential area where many hanok were concentrated. The area comprises fourteen legal dong including Hyoja-dong and Ogin-dong in Jongno-gu in Seoul, and covers one third of the entire Bukchon area.
It is home to the Sajikdan Altar, which was built to assert the legitimacy of the Joseon Dynasty, and various types of houses of influential figures and middle-class families of the Joseon period. Bukchon itself was preferred by high-ranking officials and aristocrats, whereas the west side of Gyeongbokgung Palace was inhabited by middle-class people during the Joseon period. As a famous scenic spot located at the foot of Inwangsan Mountain, the area was the heart of the Wihang literature movement, being much appreciated by artists and writers for its landscape. Such an artistic atmosphere of the area continued into modern times. Various poets such as Yi Sang, Yun Dong-ju, and Noh Cheon-myeong, and painters including Bak No-su, Yi Sang-beom, and Chun Kyung-ja lived in the area and promoted the regional culture in a range of genres. Since modern times, development activities have been restricted on the west side of Gyeongbokgung Palace due to its location near the Palace and Cheongwadae (Blue House).
on the West Side
of Gyeongbokgung Palace
The west side of Gyeongbokgung Palace, situated between Inwangsan Mountain and Gyeongbokgung Palace, was the preferred residential area of the nobility and middle-class people in the Joseon period.
The area contains a wide range of cultural assets and other materials including two Historic Sites (No. 121 Sajikdan Altar and No. 149 Yuksanggung Shrine), one Seoul Important Intangible Cultural Heritage (No. 111 Sajik Daeje (National Rite to Gods of Earth and Grain); two Seoul Tangible Cultural Heritages (No.25 Hwanghakjeong Archery Range and No. 32 The Site of Seonhuigung Palace); three Seoul Monuments (No. 23 The House of Sin Ik-hui, No. 31 Suseongdong Valley of Inwangsan Mountain, and No. 40 Baegundong Valley of Inwangsan Mountain); two Folklore Cultural Heritages (No. 29 The House of Hong Jong-mun in Chebu-dong and No. 33 The House of Hong Geon-ik in Pirun-dong); three Seoul Cultural Heritage Materials (No. 1 The House of Bak No-su in Ogin-dong, No. 9 The Site of the House of Yi Hang-bok [Pirundae], and No. 59 Baekhojeong Archery Field); and two Seoul Registered Cultural Heritages (No. 93 Dormitory of Paiwha Girls' High School and No. 171 The House and Atelier of Yi Sang-beom in Nuha-dong). Notably, the area is home to many places associated with local painters, such as the aforementioned House of Bak No-su (currently the Jongno-gu Bak No-su Gallery), designated as a Cultural Heritage Material, and the House and Atelier of Yi Sang-beom, a Registered Cultural Heritage.
Moreover, many of the area’s waterways and roads, built in the Joseon period, are still being used as roads. In particular, a number of Chinese inscriptions on rocks can be seen in various districts, including Baekhojeong (白虎亭; Baekhojeong Archery Field) in Nusang-dong and Pirundae (弼雲臺; The House of Yi Hang-bok); and Baegundongcheon (白雲洞川; Baegundong Stream) and Cheongsongdang Yuji (聽松堂遺址, Site of Cheongsongdang House), Cheongunsanjang (淸雲山莊; Cheongun Mountain Lodge), Baeksecheongpung (百世淸風), and Ungangdae (雲江臺) in Cheongun-dong, as well as a group of inscriptions in Daeeunam Valley