South Korea is rapidly becoming a technologically advanced country with modern cities. A city called Andong (안동) is an exception to the norm. Andong has a reputation for being a center of traditional Korean culture and history. There are many festivals that take place in Andong that celebrate ancient Korean traditions. For example, the Andong Mask Dance Festival celebrates traditional Korean maskmaking and the dances that accompany the wearing of these masks.
The closest you can get to traveling back in time is to visit the Yangdong Village of Gyeongju (경주양동민속마을). The Yangdong Village of Gyeongju is an outdoor museum where people dress in traditional Korean clothing and perform tasks that would have been performed in 14th-19th century Korea. You can also see the traditional Korean houses that the poor and the elite lived in, and see folk traditions like basket weaving done by real people.
The Dosan Seowon (도산서원) served as an academy where young boys would memorize Confucian texts and commemorate the deaths of famed scholars. The Dosan Seowon was built in the 16th century and was constructed to hold a lecture hall, a dormitory for students and a kitchen. There is also a small pond with a garden, but the actual academy is what is most valued because it respresents one of the earlier institutions of education in Korea.
Bongjeongsa (봉정사) was established in the late 600s and is the largest temple in Andong. It houses four national treasures, which includes National treasure #15, which is the oldest wooden building in Korea. It has survived all the natural disasters and wars over a period of centuries. Treasure #55 is the main temple hall. The temple hall is famous for its beautiful murals. Treasure #448 is a study hall and Treasure #449 is a worship hall.
Andong Jjimdak (안동찜닭) is a chicken and vegetable dish that hails from the city of Andong. To make the dish some transparent noodles are boiled until soft. A whole chicken is then chopped into pieces and steamed with spices such as green chili peppers, onions, garlic and ginger. Then some soy sauce, sugar, black pepper and vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, spinach, scallions and mushrooms are also placed in the pot. It’s a taste of Andong that you just can’t forget!
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