Monday, September 19, 2011

Daegu’s Side Streets and Alleys – Part 2

Hello everyone! I will continue my last post about Daegu's side strees and Alleys. Lets take a tour to our fourth stop. Daegu's Yangnyoengsi

4. Daegu Herbal Medicine Market - Yangnyeongsi

Daegu has been the home of this herbal medicine marked for over 350 years. The 700-meter long street near the Jungang Police Station houses most of the herbal medicine venues in Daegu. This street is lined with all forms of herbal medicine remedy shops including; acupuncturists, herbal doctors, oriental medicine shops, oriental medical equipment shops, and apothecaries.

Surrounding Scenery of the Medicine Market

The Gate to the Yangnyeongsi

This street has helped Daegu and the rest of Korea maintain its ancient cultural roots through the continuation and the advancement of oriental medicine (Han yak). Upon entering this unique market you will experience the excitement of herbal medicine trading!

Life at the Yangnyeongsi’s Wholesale Market

In the center of this street there is the Yangnyeongsi Exhibition Hall. This display hall contains approximately 500 different medicine books, herbal medicine supplies and tools and actual medicines. The gift shop in the Exhibition Hall has teas, liquors, and other herbal medicines for sale.

Yangnyeongsi Oriental Medicine Cultural Center

Inside of the Yangnyeongsi Oriental Medicine Cultural Center

In close proximity to the market you will find the Daegu City Tourist Information Centre, this is a great location for your to pick up tour maps and leaflets while also checking out tour information about Daegu City and the surrounding areas. If this is your first time visiting Daegu, it might be a good idea to visit this office to familiarize yourself with the city, the culture, and the food! This centre has multiple locations and can also be found at the Dong-Daegu Train Station, the downtown area (Dong-sungro), and the Daegu’s Central District Office.

5. 'The House with a Deep Yard”

The Background of “The House with a Deep Yard”

Opposite the Yangnyeongsi there is a very popular ally, the ‘Janggwan-dong Hanok Alley.’ This area became popular, as it was the background for the popular 1988 novel titled “The House with a Deep Yard” by Kim Won-il. The novel was set in the 1950’s following the Korean War and focused on the lives of the common people who lived in very poor conditions.

Scenes from the days long ago

Along this street you will find many murals depicting the days long passed. One of the more popular images is a familiar scene of a mother scolding her child for misbehaving and being punished by being required to hold coal briquettes on her head.

6. Daegu’s Jaeil Church

To reach the famous Yangnyeongsi you just need to take a short stroll to the south after leaving Lee Sang Wha’s Old House.

Daegu’s First Presbyterian Church

In 1898, Presbyterian missionaries established the Jeil Church (Daegu's first Presbyterian Church)  in the Daegu and the Gyeongbuk area. After gathering a parish, a formal church was built in 1902 near the entrance of the Yangnyeongsi. In the mid-1930s the congregation moved to a new location across from Gyesang Cathedral, preserving the original building for visitors and has been designated as one of Daegu’s Cultural Assets.

7. Gyonam YMCA

Former Gyonam YMCA

In March 1919, during the Japanese Colonial Period, members of the Gyonam YMCA were the driving force behind the Korean Independence Movement in Daegu. The members of the YMCA utilized an old hospital building, opposite the former Jaeil Church, for their headquarters. It was not until recently that the historical significance of this building was known, but now recognized as an important part of Daegu’s history the building has been dubbed one of Daegu’s Cultural Assets.

8. Daegu Chinatown

Daegu like many cities has a resident Chinatown, but what makes this location unique is that it has been the residence for Chinese Citizens living in Korea for over 100 years.

Modern architecture in Daegu developed by Chinese Architects and Engineers

The Chinese community first came to Daegu as part of the western-style building development group. As most of buildings in Korea over the past 100 years were constructed in the traditional architectural style, Korea invited Chinese architects and engineers who were experienced in western-style architecture to help build the new churches and cathedrals. As it was the Chinese architects and engineers who built most of churches and cathedrals in central Daegu, this region was inhabited by the workers and their families.

Not all of the Chinese who came to Daegu were architects, in-fact many were anti-communist who had fled to Daegu during the Korean War. These families found a safe region with fellow Chinese and began to settle down in this region after the war.

Chinese Cultural Festival Poster

9. Jin Alley (Jin Golmok)

Jin Alley

If there is one street that truly represents the heart and soul of Daegu, it would have to be the ‘Jin Alley.’ In local dialect the word ‘Jin’ translates into ‘ Long’ therefore naming this street literally “Long Alley.”

In earlier times this area was inhabited by Daegu’s upper class, to include the infamous Seo family. As the city expanded the families began to move to more private locations and the Jin Alley began to welcome many restaurants, becoming one of Daegu’s more respectable nightlife areas during the time.

Jin Alley restaurant

Recently most of the nightlife has disappeared from this area and moved to Dongseongro, but the most successful restaurants still remain. One of the most popular restaurants is the converted house of Seo Byeong-Won which serves traditional Korean Beef Soup, a traditional and representative dish of the area.

Jung Pediatric Hospital

Following the Jin Alley, you will find our final stop on our Alley Expedition, the Jung Pediatric Hospital. This hospital was one of the first western-style buildings in the city which was once the location of Seo Byeong-Kuk’s family house. After Seo moved, his house was converted into a pediatric hospital and had been operational for decades. This building gained recognition because of its appearance in the novel “The House with a Deep Yard.”

Various cultural events in Daegu’s Alleys



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