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Namhansanseong fortress as the UNESCO World Heritage sites

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Writer admin Date26 Jun 2014 Read4,860 Comment0

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Namhansanseong fortress as the UNESCO World Heritage sites


Namhansanseong, an ancient mountain fortress in Gwangju, Gyeonggi Province, has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site, at the 38th meeting of the UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee in Doha, Qatar, Sunday.

Built in Mount Namhan in 1626, it is one of the two fortresses surrounding Seoul, which was then called Hanseong during the Joseon Kingdom (1392-1910).

The International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), a key UN advisory council that recommends candidates for the World Heritage List, said that it is a prototype for fortified sites in Korea and Eastern Asia.

The citadel fulfilled important administrative and military functions and the fortified town had military, administrative, religious, residential and commercial functions.

It is also highly appreciated for representing the development of fortification from the seventh century to the 19th century and the defense technology against the introduction of Western weaponry in the early 17th century.

Lee Hye-eun, Dongguk University professor and a member of the Cultural Heritage Administration’s World Heritages committee, said, "Namhansanseong is historically significant because it is the only fortress that has been used as an emergency palace during a war. The ICOMOS rated it highly."

On Jan. 11, 2010, the site was already on the tentative list for the nomination of the ICOMOS and Korea submitted an application for the UNESCO status on Jan. 25, 2013.

And after conducting an onsite inspection for technical evaluation from last September, the ICOMOS recommended Namhansanseong as appropriate for registration and issued an approval of the report for nomination on March 6 this year.

The World Heritages committee said the fortress is relatively well preserved, but advised for regulations in further development of the area.

With its 11-kilometer-long stone walls surrounding the slopes of Mount Namhan over three cities ― Gwangju, Hanam, and Seongnam, Namhansanseong served as an emergency palace for the King Injo hiding from the second Manchu invasion of Korea in 1636 during China’s Qing Dynasty. He took refuge at the fortress from the Qing’s Huang Taiji only to surrender after 47 days.
Original article from http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2014/06/316_159600.html

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