Yeongnam jeilgwan Gate and Daegu eup-seong Fortress

published by Devon Furbush

I mentioned in a recent post about the Daegu eup-seong fortress that used to sit in the middle of the city. Evidence of its existence can still be seen all around downtown with commemorative nameplates and distinctive stone roads. However, if you want to see a life-size replica of the main gate, you’ll have to take a trip to Dongdaegu. The (mud) fortress was built in 1590 to protect the city from Japanese invasions. Not only Daegu but Busan, Andong, Yeongcheon, Sangju, Gumi, and other cities built their fortresses for similar reasons. Some of them were destroyed, some of them were relocated, and some of them still stand today like the one on Gumi’s Geumo Mountain.

Daegu eup-seong fortress’s weak structure couldn’t withstand the attacks during the 1592 Imjin Invasion and was ultimately destroyed. It wasn’t until the mid-1700s that it was rebuilt with heavy stones, this time adding four main gates, two hidden gates, and four watchtowers. The circumference was about 2,650 meters with a width of around 8.7 meters and stood at 3.5 meters high. The northeast part was the center of Gyeongsang Province’s military, politics, and administration while the northwest side was where the officials’ room and board were located. Residential zones were developed in the southwest and southeast regions.

Yeongnam jeilgwan gate was the main entrance located in the south. In 1906, it was obliterated by a pro-Japanese governor of Daegu that saw better usage for the land that was contained within the walls. Remnants and evidence of the fortress can be seen all over the city. The foundation of the Old Jeil Church across from the Gyonam YMCA and the missionary homes on Cheongra Hill contain stones from Daegu eup-seong fortress. In recent years there have also been structures built, roads paved, and other attractions that remind us of its history.

South gate

The original location of Yeongnam jeilgwan gate was at the south gate of Namseong-ro (present-day Yangyeong-si Market street). A commemorative plaque has been placed at its location. Following this entire road, you can see where the wall stood.

East gate

Heading to Dongseong-ro takes you to the plaque that marks the location of Jindong-mun gate (east). On normal days it’s almost impossible to be able to walk directly above the road to the other side of downtown without bumping shoulders with other shoppers. Due to the recent coronavirus outbreak, there is significantly less traffic on the streets.

Hidden gates

There were two additional hidden gates, Dongso-mun and Seoso-mun. The former’s location is tucked near the east gate and the latter is tucked near the west gate.

A small-scale replica of a part of the fortress sits near Daegu Station and the Daewoo Building. The stones used to build it are from the original structure.

North gate

The north gate called Gongbuk-mun was located in Bukseong-ro. It was on this road that the last emperor of Korea had his royal tour that led him from Daegu Station to Dalseong Park.

West gate

At last, we have Dalseo-mun, the west gate. Stones leftover from the original structure play the role of the road median.

Yeongnam jeilgwan gate's address: Address: Daegu, Suseong-gu, Manchon-dong, Palhyeon-gil, 248

Dodong Seowon Confucian Academy - UNESCO World Heritage
Who is Kim Gwang-seok?

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