Modern Culture through Alleys in Daegu
Modern Culture through Alleys in Daegu
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  • 승인 2012.11.08 10:58
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Should we have to go far away for travel or to have an adventure? There are some great attractions to see right here in Daegu, even though we always pass by them unconsciously. The Jung-gu district office of Daegu Metropolitan City provides alley tours as one of the projects to save alleys in our city based on the theme “Old alleys are not dead.” The “Modern Cultural Alleys in Daegu” project has been chosen “the 99 sights in the country which Koreans have to visit” in 2012 and awarded the 2012 KOREA TOURISM AWARDS as part of barrier free tourism resources through the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Korea Tourism Organization. Let’s take a look at the alleys in Daegu where traces of our history still remain.

How to participate in alley tours
There are seven alley tour courses established by the Jung-gu district office. The 1st tour course is “Gamyeong Bukseongno Road” and the 2nd course is the “Modern Culture Alley.” The 3rd course is the “Oriental Medicine Style Shopping Road.” The 4th course is the “Samdeok Bongsan Culture Road.” The 5th course is the “Namsan 100 years Hyangsu Road.” There is also a night view tour and a food tour course. Free tours without a guide are always available. Tours with a guide are possible when visitors make a request by phone or at the culture and tourism tab on the website of the Jung-gu district office. The call number at the department of Culture and Tourism of the Jung-gu district office is 053) 661–2194 and the website address is Tours for all courses are free and anyone can participate. Guided tours are available on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. There is no limit to the number of participants, but when there are fewer than five, the tour may be cancelled. People are required to check notifications on the website of the Jung-gu district office at least 3 days prior to the tour schedule. If a visitor wants a guided tour on another day, they must organize a group of at least 10 people.

A visit to the 2nd tour course
The Observer toured the “Modern Culture Alley” which features modern history and the beauty of modern buildings located in central part of the city.
1. Dongsan Missionary houses
The Dongsan Missionary houses are located on Cheongna Hill. There are 3 houses; Switzer Residence, Blair Residence, and Chamness Residence named after the missionaries who lived in them. The buildings and trees remain just as they were in the early 1900’s. The brick buildings with ivy and beautiful gardens felt exotic. The song “Dongmu Saenggak” (Thinking my bosom friend) set on Cheongna Hill and composed by Park Tae Jun is playing in the garden next to Chamness Residence. On the first floor of the Blair Residence is a history education center, there are old items on display such as a wardrobe, a loom, and rubber shoes. There is a March 1st Independence Movement museum of history on the second floor. Visitors can see writings and photos by the leaders of the independence movement, about their repression and executions by the Japanese. Those photos stir strong feelings about this sad history.
2. March 1st Manse Movement Road
This path was a secret passage for crowds of citizens and students who marched on the streets. They disguised themselves as merchants and met at Mr. Kang’s salt market through this path. Visitors can view old scenes of the Gyesan Catholic Church and view Daegu through photos exhibited on the wall.
3. Gyesan Catholic Church
Gyesan Catholic Church is famous for its history of over 100 years and it is one of the three major landmark churches in Korea along with Myeongdong Cathedral Church in Seoul and Joundong Catholic Church in Jeonju. Many visitors drop by the Catholic Church simply to admire the architecture of the old building. The Gyesan Catholic Church is an example of Gothic architecture, so the outer walls are made of red and gray bricks, which creates a solemn atmosphere.
4. Former houses of Lee Sang Hwa and Seo Sang Don
The former houses of Lee Sang Hwa is where the nationalist poet Mr. Lee lived. Lee Sang Hwa represented grieving sentiments of the entire nation through his poetry during the Japanese colonial period. The former houses of Seo Sang Don is also where independence fighter Seo Sang Don lived. Seo Sang Don was an executive in the “People’s joint association (Manmingongdongheo)” and Independent Association in 1898. The poem “Can Spring Come to the Deprived Field?” was engraved on the road to the former houses of Lee Sang Hwa and Seo Sang Don. All of the paintings and poems that were affixed to the wall toward the entrances were impressive. The tall buildings that surrounding the old houses and the modern sounds of motorcycles as they passed by this otherwise tranquil area seemed to be out of place. This is a good place to stay in touch with our history.

Our history is not only learned by reading textbooks. We can see and feel our history at places we always overlook. We might think of them as just narrow alleys if we pass by unconsciously, but they are so meaningful because we can feel and see our history and remember the pain of our people. Look back at our history at least once by looking around this alley.

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