Twelve Views of Daegu
Korea’s most admired mountain, behind the Dalgubeol Basin.
A majestic granite mountain looms like a screen north of the Dalgubeol Basin. Palgongsan consists of three major peaks including the highest peak Birobong (1,192m). It was called Buak, Jungak or Gongsan during the Silla Period (57 BCE - 935), and Gongsan in the following Goryeo Period (918-1392). It was during the Joseon Period (1392-1910) that the mountain began to be referred to by its current name. In the Palgongsan Natural Park (30.6㎢) there are several important historical Buddhist monasteries, such as Donghwasa, Pagyesa and Buinsa, as well as rocks of fantastic shapes creating breathtakingly beautiful landscapes.Mt.PalgongsanO
One of the most popular attractions in the park is Gatbawi, a stone Buddha with headwear, drawing crowds of people from all over Korea with the widespread folk belief that the Buddha makes his worshippers’ wishes come true if their prayers are sincere enough. Other attractions include Sutaego Valley with its crystal clear water, the Palgongsan Ring Road offering a pleasant driving route, Sin Sung-gyeom Historic Site related to the foundation of the Goryeo Dynasty and a scenic walking trail to Bukjijangsa Temple
Spectacular sights of the mountaintop blooming with azaleas Biseulsan Mountain, embracing the southern part of Daegu is famous for its scenic landscapes that change according to the seasons. In spring, the mountain attracts hikers with brilliant red azalea blossoms carpeting its tallest peak; in summer, the valleys are covered with thick fog; in autumn, you can see ridges of colorful tree leaves and pearly pampass grass; and in winter the hills become icy with frost. The mountain also contains a fantastic rock stream designated as Natural Monument No 435, recreational forests offering eco-tourism opportunities, and old historic Buddhist temples such as Yugasa, Yongyeonsa and Sojaesa. The passage to Yongyeonsa Temple, which was selected as one of Daegu’s most beautiful walks, Dodong Seowon, which was once an academic center of the local Confucian scholars during the Joseon Period, and the historic shrine monument of the Hyeonpung Gwak clan are also popular attractions in the area.
Harmony of waves, reeds, sunset and life Recently constructed at Gangjeong in the middle reaches of the Nakdonggang River which runs just outside of the Dalgubeol Basin, the Gangjeong-Goryeong Weir has already established itself as one of the main tourist attractions in the Daegu area with the Water Museum expected to open soon. The dam is the longest (953.5m) of its kind built along the Nakdonggang River. The Dalseong Wetland located in a delta formed at the confluence of the Geumhogang and Nakdonggang Rivers is 3 kilometers long and about 600 meters wide and well known as an ecological treasure house where nature peacefully coexists with human culture. The wetland is also a sanctuary for endangered species such as the eagle owl, leopard cat, otter, and boreal digging frog.
Sincheon Stream“Wellspring of life” for dwellers in the heart of Daegu A small river with a length of 12.5km in length and a catchment area of 165.3㎢, the Sincheon originates from south of Biseulsan and Choejeongsan Mountains, joins Daecheon Stream from Paljoryeong at Yonggye, and finally flows into Geumhogang River before cutting across downtown Daegu. The river is crossed by thirteen bridges and provides citizens with a range of facilities for various outdoor activities including riverside promenades and bike routes. More popular attractions are a water park and an ice rink. There are also multi-functional spaces along the river used for performances and festive events and areas where nature lives in harmony with busy city life.
A destination for the seekers of excitement, relaxation and a taste of Daegu Suseongmot is the largest manmade lake in the city of Daegu 218,000㎡ in area and 2km in circumference. It was originally made as a reservoir to contain agricultural water but has now grown into Daegu’s most popular public park, offering venues for all kinds of outdoor activities all year round including boating and laser water shows. A variety of amusement facilities have been built around the lake but it maintains its attractive natural views through all four seasons. Some of the most popular restaurants in the city are in the nearby district called Deurangil, including those serving Daegu’s famous local food.
Dalseongtoseong Earthen FortificationBirthplace of Dalgubeol’s history The Dalseongtoseong Earthen Fortification (Historic Site No. 62) is a defense facility from the Three Kingdoms Period (57 BCE – 668) built around low hills in the west of the middle reaches of Dalseocheon Stream. As suggested by the name Dalseong (“circular fortress”), the fortress has long had great significance in representing the area of today’s Daegu. The remaining traces of the earthen wall show that the fortification was 380 meters long east to west, 470 meters long north to south, and 1,300 meters long in its circumference. The wall is 20 meters wide at the base and 6 meters tall, and all together features a roughly five-sided circle. The fortress site contains many popular attractions including the Local Folk Museum, Gwanpungnu Gate, the statue of Choe Je-u who founded Donghak, or the Eastern Learning Movement, the monument of the widely admired patriotic poet Yi Sang-hwa, and the entrance gate to the site which is famous for the hanging plaque containing the inscription of its name, “Citizens’ Gate,” handwritten by the late former president Park Chung-hee. A spacious public lawn, age-old trees, relaxation facilities, and the significant historic background also make the site one of the most popular destinations among outside visitors as well as the citizens of Daegu.
Documentary of time, space and history It was in 1601, the 34th year of King Seonjo’s reign, that today’s Daegu was appointed as the seat of the provincial administrative office (Gamyeong) of Gyeongsang-do, laying the foundation for the development of the city for the future. Located in the city’s old downtown area, the historic administrative office site contains Seonhwadang (Tangible Cultural Heritage of Daegu No. 1) which was the governor’s office, and Jingcheonggak (Tangible Cultural Heritage of Daegu No. 2) which was his official residence. The site is enclosed by a complex network of old roads called Saseong-ro, now containing many tool shops and herbal shops whose history
began in 1658 when the medicine market first opened. A recently developed tour program named Daegu Old Alley Tour now guides tourists through the old alleys of Jongno, Jin-golmok and Samirundong-gil. The area also contains many historic sites and buildings such as the missionary residences on Cheongna Hill, Gyesan Catholic Church, which is Daegu’s first Gothic building, the birthplace of Yi Sang-hwa who wrote many patriotic poems, the home of Go Sang-don who organized the historic National Debt Repayment Movement, Seongbak Alley, Jeil Church and Yeommae Market.
People’s union with history, culture and patriotism Now a top tourist attraction of Daegu and its vicinity, the Gukchaebosang Memorial Park (42,509㎡) was built to commemorate the National Debt Repayment Movement that started in Daegu in 1907 as an effort to restore Korea’s full sovereignty from Imperial Japan by paying off a huge sum of the national debt owed to Japan. The park boasts a spacious public lawn with tall, dense trees and a road lined with pin oaks, and contains a number of monuments honoring some of Korea’s greatest mid-20th century poets, such as Yi Yuk-sa, Yi Ho-u and Yun Dong-ju whose poems are inked by renowned local calligraphers. The recent opening of the Gukchaebosang Memorial Hall and the Youth Norimadang turned it into a popular venue for concerts, exhibitions and other cultural events. It was also here that the marathon event for the 2011 Daegu IAAF World Championships in Athletics started and finished.
The busiest and most vibrant street in the heart of Daegu The busy 900-meter-long section between the Daegu Station Junction and the Security Center in downtown Daegu, Dongseong-ro is the favorite thoroughfare for Daegu’s youth. The street originally formed the eastern part of the walled town of Daegu-eup, but the wall was pulled down due to road construction in 1907. The street contains an open-air theater built in front of the Daegu Department Store and a pedestrian zone paved with rectangular blocks of hewn stone, similar to those used to build fortress walls. The zone is linked with several alleys packed with street vendors selling jewelry, snacks, bags,
fashion and vintage goods. Korea’s first “Public Transport Zone” (1.05km from Banwoldang Junction and Daegu Station Junction) opened in 2009 and attracts shoppers seeking new designs and a modern environment.
The warmth of folk life and the joy of bargaining Daegu Market was regarded during the Joseon Period (1392-1910) as one of the three largest markets along with Ganggyeong Market in Seoul and Pyeongyang Market in Pyeongyang. Now called Seomun, or West Gate Market, the Daegu Market was formed in 1770 and in 1920 it was moved to the current site in the city’s southwestern part which was reclaimed by filling up a pond. The market (27,062㎡ in site area) is currently divided into six zones containing 4,000 shops selling textiles, kitchenware, dried and fresh fish and so on. Still the largest traditional market in the region, the Seomun Market is now a very popular attraction especially among tourists seeking after the warmth of traditional lifestyle and the joy of bustling around looking for bargains.
The most conspicuous architectural landmark for the metropolitan city of Daegu Located at the European-style theme park within Duryu Park (1,653,965㎡), Daegu Tower (202m) features a unique octagonal body conceived from the body of the Dabotap Pagoda in Bulguksa Temple. In addition to the tower, which is generally regarded as the Daegu’s most conspicuous landmark, the park contains many facilities for various indoor and outdoor activities as well as cultural events, including Duryusan Mountain, Seongdangmot Pond, Daegu Culture and Arts Center providing venues for performances and exhibitions, a multi-purpose playground, swimming pool, soccer field,
tennis court, baseball field, inline skating rink, February 28th Monument, sculpture park, tourist information center, and Kolon Field Concert Hall.
Stage for cheers of joy and the passion of sports Since its completion in 2001 as the largest sports arena in the city with a 512,479㎡ plot area, 40,284㎡ field area and 66,422 seats, Daegu Stadium has hosted the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan, 2003 Summer Universiade, and 2011 Daegu IAAF World Championships in Athletics, one of the three largest sporting events in the world. The stadium is marked by its unique appearance conceived from the form of the earth combined with the curved roof of traditional Korean buildings as well as Korea’s first blue-colored track supplied by Mondo, along with state-of-the-art video and audio equipment which provides both athletes and spectators with a uniquely advanced environment. The stadium is also widely praised for its support facilities including training grounds, open-air theater and pleasant green spaces. The nearby Daegu Art Museum presents a variety of high-quality art exhibitions and the soon-to-be completed Athletics Promotion Center is expected to develop the area into a major destination among sports fans and arts lovers for Daegu and its vicinity.