Bon-dong was the name of the village since the Joseon Period and it means 'the original village' of Noryangjin. In 1914, the Japanese combined three villages and called them 'bon-dong-ri', which was later changed to Bon-dong.
The former Sanggachasan-ri Village is the area around the Noryangjin branch of Kookmin Bank in Bon-dong 207-2 and the Hagachasan-ri Village is the addresses 12, 24, 25, 26, 30, 31 in Bon-dong and is also called the Gachilmok.
Gachilmok is the oldest village in Bon-dong situated on the banks of the Hangang River. A long time ago, the village would flood when the waters of the Hangang River rose. There was a time when many people with contagious diseases were quarantined here.
Seonangdangi Gogae Ridge
This ridge is west of Maebongjae. There used to be a shrine of a tutelary deity here where the villagers would pray for peace and prosperity. Originally in Bon-dong there were two other such shrines. One
was behind the Minjeolseowon (Memorial Hal)l and the other behind the Sayuksinmyo (Tombs).
Noryangjin means 'ferry where the white heron plays'. In the Joseon Period, one had to use the ferry to go from Yongsan to Suwon. Noryangjin and the village were established in this area.
Dongmak is the area around 45 and 46 Beonji, Noryangjin -2(i)-dong, where currently the Dongjak-gu Office building stands. A long time ago, there used to be a kiln that fired pottery, and used the Nodeullaru Ferry at Noryangjin to transport the wares downtown. In 1950, it was torn down for a factory, and later the District office building was built here.
Songhakdae is the name of the village that flanks Jangseungbaegi before reaching the Samgeori market. There lived many fir trees that are hundreds of years old and many hak (cranes) in these trees, hence the name Songhakdae (Song means fir tree). In the Japanese colonial era, the coming and going of Koreans in this area was severely restricted.
Nearby is the Songhak Church.
Acha Gogae Ridge
Acha Gogae Ridge was the name of the pass on which Sayuksinmyo (Tombs) were. When one scholar was riding to the capital city to say that it was wrong to execute the sayuksin, it was here that he was confronted with the news that the sayuksin was already executed at Saenamteo. When he heard this he cried, 'Acha! (Alas!) I am too late!' Thus, the name of the pass became Acha Gogae Ridge.
Another story tells that a famous astrologer named Hong Gye-gwan living in the age of King Myeongjong of Joseon once read a fortune that he would die an accidental death on such and such day. On that day, he hid beneath the king's throne, thinking it was the only place to avoid a disaster and he received the permission of the king.
At that time, a rat was crossing the yard and the king said to Hong, 'Right now a rat is crossing the yard. How many of them are they?' Hong answered 'Three'. The King was angry at the false answer and order that his head be cut off.
When he reached the execution site, Hong saw in his fortune that there would be a way to live 'if only he waited a couple hours more'. He begged that his execution be delayed just a bit and was so desperate that he was granted his wish. After sending off Hong, the King got someone to open up the belly of the rat and found that there were two baby rats within. Surprised at the great ability of Hong, the king ordered that he not be executed. A servant ran to the grounds just as he was about to be killed and shouted to stop but the executioner did not hear. The servant waved his hands to stop but the executioner misinterpreted this to carry on quickly. When the servant returned to the king with the bad news, the king said 'Acha (Alas!)' and was very sad. From that day on, the pass where the execution place stood was called Acha Gogae Ridge.
Facing the Yeongdo Market in Sangdo 2(i)-dong of Dongjak-gu, the area in front of the Noryangjin Police Box and Woori Bank Sangdo Branch is called Jangsengbaegi.
This place is where Noryangjin-dong, Sangdo-dong, and Daebang-dong meet, and in the Joseon Period was the corner that turned towards the Noryangjin ferry landing.
Seoul citizens all knew Jangseungbaegi even if they did not know where Sangdo-dong was. Its name was very widely known. It was probably because of the famous Daebang Jangseung.
Although it is a folk religion that is now gone, in the olden days, one could always see a Jangseung, a kind of Korean totem pole, at the entrance of a village or temple. The jangseung was a boundary marker, and it was was placed as markers every 10 ri or 15 ri (measurements of distance). More than a simple marker, It was also a guardian diety that blocked evil spirits.
Areas where a jangseung stands are called jangseungbaegi, baegi meaning grounds. There are areas with this name around the country. The reason this place became Jangseungbaegi, the name of the village is due to the following story.
In mid Joseon, Sadoseja was trapped in a rice chest and died a horrible death. Afterwards, his son Jeongjo could not forget his father even after he rose to the throne in 1777. Therefore Kim Jeongjo did not forget to pay homage to his father's tomb, Hyeollyungwon, which was located in Hwasan (Suwon). In rain and snow, in cold and warm, Jeongjo went to his father's tomb and knelt down, wishing blessings to the deceased soul.
Now, there are modern buildings and houses, but at the time, the area of Jangseungbaegi was a thick forest of trees where ferocious beasts could turn up even in the daytime. The procession would rest here once before going to Hyeollyungwon but the trees made the area seem lonely. When it was drizzling, one would feel very nervous and eerie on the deserted road. Then, Jeongjo said, "Erect a jangseung here.
One will be called the Cheonha Daejanggun (Great General) and the other will be the Female General of the Underworld." This was for the king to feel safe when he was passing by. The area's name naturally became Jangseungbaegi and whenever Jeongjo was visiting his father's cemetery, the procession would stop in front of the jangseung on his way to pay homage.
The jangseung was also a popular subject in pansori and Seodochang, Korean types of singing. One popular episode is of a man who goes out in the cold winter because he has nothing to burn to make a fire. On his way to the mountain, he chops down the jangseung for firewood. The story is a satire and told from the perspective of the jangseung, which bewails its misfortune, to be hacked down as mere firewood!
Originally, a jangseung was placed just outside the village to chase away diseases, guard the village, and mark the boundary. Now, the religious meaning of jangseung has become weak. However, it has been revived as a representative attraction of Korean culture.
Noryangjin Seafood Market
The seafood market located in Noryangjin-dong provides fish and other seafood to the metropolitan area, providing both supplier and customer with an appropriate price to lead seafood distribution in the market.
This market started in 1927 near Seobu Railroad Station in Uijuro, Seodaemun-gu. At the time, freight transportation relied heavily on the railroad. After liberation from Japanese colonial imperialism, the market was relaunched in 1947.
However, freight transportation shifted from railroads to trucks, and as the area became more crowded, the market was moved in 1975 to its current location in Noryangjin-dong to act as both a retail and wholesale market.
The Noryangjin Market lies on 23,002㎡ and includes facilities such as the auction floor, wholesale wing, retail wing, management offices, parking lot, and temporary refrigerator. There are also facilities for freezing, refrigeration, storage, and ice production.
The fish market moves 116,698 tons of fish a year (1999 statistics), having a value of 282.6 billion won. Its wares come from the east, west, and south seas, with March through May and September through December as its peak season.
49.5 percent of all seafood traded in Seoul starts at the Noryangjin Market. Recently, it is becoming an international market with 10,000 Japanese tourists a year.
With more people eating sushi, the raw fish market within the Noryangjin Market is famous and the early morning auctions are an attraction for the citizens. 50 percent of the auctioned seafood goes directly into department stores and groceries.
On March 22, 1897, the history of the Korean railroad began with the opening construction for the Gyeongin line. The Noryangjin Station was part of the original route. At the station, one can see a poem written by the famous Seo Jeong-ju and a stone monument set by then Prime Minister Kim Jong-pil in 1975.
Sangdo-dong gets its name from 'Sangtugul' which means, cave of pall bearers. In fact, many pall bearers lived in this area in groups. The area's name changed several times until it finally became Sangdo-dong in 1955 when Seoul City divided the region into administrative units of 'dong'
Salpijae is the ridge that goes from the crossings beneath Soongsil Univ. up to Bongcheon-dong. A long time ago, this passage was dense with trees and there were many robbers. Hence, people said 'salpyeoseo gara' which means 'please watch yourself' and from this came the name Salpijae.
Seongdaegul is the old name of the village located between the entrance of Seongdae Market in Sangdo
3(sam)-dong to the valley of Guksabong (Peak). A long time ago, a rich man by the name of Sin lived in
this region and after he died, the land was dug up to find a place to make his tomb, when an armful of
peach flowers was discovered. Afterwards, it was called Seongdohwari (meaning peach flower village)
but the name was altered to Seongdoari, Seongdori, and Seongdaeri over a long period of time.
Neung Gogae Ridge
Neung Gogae Ridge Neung means tomb is the name of the pass that goes from Guksabong Middle
School in Sangdo 4(sa)-dong over to Bongcheon-dong. There is a story that there was a household that
was very poor and had little to eat. One cold winter day an elderly monk was passing by the house and
being as late as it was, asked to stay for the night. They owner lit a fire and served the monk some gruel instead of rice, without eating himself. When the monk became aware of this the next day, he said that he would return the kindness and took the owner to Neung Gogae Ridge, saying, 'Use this place for your
tomb after you die' When the owner did die after a few years, he was buried here and his descendants
have been prosperous ever afterwards.
Manyang Gogae Ridge
A pass that starts in front of Daelim Apt. and goes on to Noryangjin, it was so long that it took 'manyang' meaning 'forever' to walk it.
This is the area behind Seongdae Market. There was a well that always provided cold water. Therefore the area was called Bingsugol, meaning 'place of ice water'. The name was eventually changed to Binsugol.
Soongsil Univ. Christian Museum
An affiliation of Soongsil University, the Korean Christian Museum exhibits 7,000 pieces of Christian, archaeological, and Korean history. The museum was founded in 1948 by Professor Kim Yang-seon, a minister and archaeologist. It was later donated to Professor Kim's alma mater in 1967. The museum's collections include relics that are national treasures ranging from artifacts from the Bronze Age to posthumous writings by the martyr An Jung-geun. Other important artifacts include the Declaration of Independence and Kim Jeong-ho's <Daedong-yeojido>, a map of ancient Korea. The museum was reopened in a new building in 1999.
About 350 years ago in the Joseon Period, this area was two separate villages, but it was referred to as one district during the Japanese rule and became Daebang-dong after liberation.
Nopeunjeori, meaning 'high temple' got its name from Cheongnyeonam, a temple that was situated in the high area of Daebang-dong. In the Goryeo Dynasty, this area was given to a minister by the name of No as a gift from the king.
The area gets its name from Gyedonggung (Pond), where there was the tomb of Yeonnyeonggun.
Sindaebang-dong means 'new Daebang-dong'. In 1970, it was separated from Daebang-dong by article no.613 of Seoul City regulations.
After the Korean War, President Lee Seung-man built 64 houses in this area for war widows and their children. It used to be called 'widow village' but no traces remain today.
Geobuk Gogae Ridge
The Yeonnyeonggun Sindobi (Stele) used to stand on the site of the current Daebang Elementary School. When it was moved, the pedestal stone had to be moved by hundreds of cows due to its weight. They passed over this hill so slowly, it became Geobuk Gogae Ridge (literally "Turtle Hill Pass"). These days it is also called Mojawon-gogae Pass.
This large park is 420,550 square meters and is located within Sindaebang-dong. The green takes up 40 percent of the park, which also has two ponds, a grassy plaza, and various facilities and paths. There is also a barefoot park, swimming pool, tennis courts, gymnasium, zoo, youth center, community center, welfare center, and other sports, welfare, and educational facilities, and a parking lot, water fountain, pavilion, and benches. Originally, the park was the grounds for the Air Force Academy between 1958 and 1985. When the school moved, the area was utilized as a rest area for citizens and in honor of the Air Force, this park was named Boramae Park (boramae means "young hawk"). At the entrance of the park, there is a monument erected in 1962 to symbolize the air forces. Also, the Boramae Tower is found near the rear entrance of the park. The park serves not only as a rest area but an educational and welfare area with its diverse facilities. Nearby is the Boramae Hospital, managed by the Seoul National University College of Medicine and other high-rise buildings including a department store. In 1999, the weather center moved here as well.
Sadang-dong gets its name from the large sadang (shrine) that used to be in the area. In 1914, the Neungmaeul, Dongsanmaeul and Yangjimaeul villages were together called Sadang-ri. When the area became a part of Seoul in 1963, the name changed to Sadang-dong.
Kkachi Gogae Ridge [Jakhyeon, Gachugae]
The ridge used to be full of trees and many magpies, hence its name. (Kkachi means magpie) Addresses 281-291 of Sadang-dong make up this area. Currently, it is called the Eunhaengnamugol(Gingko Tree) Hollow.
Although it is now the area for the Sadang subway station, up until the 1970s, there was a zelkova tree where people would pray for the wellbeing of their village and a prosperous year. The tree served as a village god but was uprooted when roads were built. The portrait of the elderly man and woman of the faction were moved to the Gwaneumsa Temple. Until recently, ceremonial rites were made in front of the portraits with rice from each household. There was a saying that if the rice was even a little bit short, the carrier would fall and injure himself on his way.
The tomb of the Jeongs lies here as the region was declared a fine spot after careful examination of the geography. When this fact was about to be reported to the king, a minister by the name of Jeong requested that the king not be informed. The geomancer told Jeong to dig up the ground after he had crossed the Dongjak ferry. When Jeong dug up the ground, large bees flew out towards the geomancer who covered himself with a large jar but the bees broke the jar and stung him to death. Afterwards, Jeong used the area for his tomb and nine generations afterwards became prime ministers.
Samil (3.1) Park
Choe Eun-hui, the first female journalist in Korea, participated in the March 1 (3.1) movement. "The girls that fought against guns and swords have become old ladies that are deaf, blind, or lame. However, remembering the fury of that day in my fading memory, I must do something with the rest of my life for my country." On April 15 of 1967, she wrote in the Donga Ilbo that an Independence Park must be established and made the proposal to President Park Jung-hee. The government designated the park in 1967 and built the park between 1989-1990.
Dongjak-dong got its name from one of the ferries, which led from Yongsan to Suwon in the Joseon Period.
The riverside area from Heukseok-dong down to the National Cemetery used to have many copper-colored rocks. This place was a hub of transportation in the Joseon Period for people going to and from Seoul.
Jeonggeum Maeul (Village)
This area next to the current Gyeongmun High School used to be a village of the Jeong family, hence the name Jeonggeum. However, there are other stories that the name comes from 'jeonggeom' which means 'to check'. There used to be a shooting range in the late Joseon and so after training, this was the village in which one had to 'jeonggeom' to see if all equipment people were ready to ride the ferry across. Still others say that the name came from the fact that it was a rest area for travelers going to Honam.
National Memorial Board (National Cemetery)
The National Cemetery in Dongjak-dong, Dongjak-gu are holy grounds where those who died heroically in action lie asleep. The area is a great site according to geomantic studies, with the Gongjakbong (Peak) of the Gwanaksan Mt. behind it, flanked by ridgelines and finished off by the Hangang River to form a triangle. The war dead were honored at the Jangchungsa (Temple) in Seoul Jangchungdan Park, but after the numbers increased due to the Korean War, there were so many nameless souls around the country, that in 1955, the current location was selected and the cemetery established. At first it was only for soldiers and military officers, but later was made a national cemetery for martyrs, patriots, police, and others.
Heukseok, meaning black stone, was the name given to this neighborhood due to the black stones found in the ground. It used to be called the 'black stone village'.
This boulder used to be located on the banks of the Hangang River and was a popular place for fishermen to cast their lines. One day, a fisherman caught an enormous carp and suddenly a swirl of snow and sand blurred his vision. Feeling strange, he looked behind and saw a large tiger growling and putting out its front paw. The fisherman was scared and he started running but the tiger followed. When he could run no longer, he looked and saw a hole in a big boulder. He went in the hole and the tiger could not and waited outside. Unfortunately the fisherman died in the hole. The tiger had only put out his paw to eat the carp, not the fisherman, but he died because of his own fear.
Myeongsudae named Mok Ha-yeong is a building which used to be on the peak of Seodalsan Mt. In 1920, a Japanese man built a villa and playground, naming the place 'Myeongsudae' for its good scenery watching the Hangang River flow by. The building was torn down after liberation.
Halttakgeori is the name of the lane that leads into the mountain to the left of Dongyang Middle School. Halttak, which means to pant, was used to name the lane, as people became short of breath as they climbed the path. Many locals enjoy kite flying on the top of the mountain.