Photo from the Road: Jeonju Architecture

The Independent Spirit of Gwangju
March 2, 2011
Crazy about Kimchi
March 10, 2011

Photo from the Road: Jeonju Architecture

Jeonju is a traditional city with a strong culture. It is also one of the best cities in South Korea to see preserved architecture in the form of historical monuments and houses.

I took a stroll downtown, through the busy pedestrian-only shopping thoroughfare until I reached the Jeonju gaeksa—an elegant structure once used as a lodging house for official representatives of the government.

Continuing further south you run into Hanok-Maeul—a section of the city with traditional-style Korean houses, high walls, and narrow alleyways. To get a good view of tiled roofs from above, climb the stairs up the hill to Omokdae, a pavilion built to commemorate the victory over the Japanese in 1380. Below you is the largest concentration of traditional housing in the country and has consequently been declared a housing preservation zone.

There are also several little museums, culture centers, exhibition halls, as well as accommodation, restaurants, and tea houses

Just west of Hanok Maeul is Pungnam-Mun, the impressive south gate of the old city fortress and most prominent historical structure in the city. Originally constructed in 1389, it was rebuilt in 1768 and renovated in 1979.

Check out more photos from my time in Jeonju.

Text and photos by Stephen Bugno









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Stephen Bugno
Stephen Bugno
Stephen Bugno has been traveling the world and writing about it for the better part of 20 years. His articles and essays have appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Seattle Times, and Transitions Abroad magazine. He blogs at Bohemian Traveler and edits the independent travel magazine He most recently set up a tour company offering authentic, small group tours at Unquote Travel. Follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


  1. Juno says:

    I love Hanok’s openness. Much lights, breeze, wood and all, feels very natural. Take a nap in the middle of the place like that in Summer, mmm.. the best.

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