Landmarks - Cheonggyecheon (Stream)
Cheonggyecheon is an 11 km long modern stream that runs through downtown Seoul. Created as
part of an urban renewal project, Cheonggyecheon is a restoration of the stream that was once
there before during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). The stream was covered with an elevated
highway after the Korean War (1950-1953), as part of the country's post-war economic
development. Then in 2003, the elevated highway was removed to restore the stream to its present
form today. The stream starts from Cheonggye Plaza, a popular cultural arts venue, and passes
under a total of 22 bridges before flowing into the Hangang (River), with many attractions along its
“Spring” Tower: a Cheonggye Plaza landmark
The two main attractions of Cheonggye Plaza are the “Spring” Tower and the Candlelight Fountain.
“Spring” is a sculpture by Swedish pop artist, Claes Oldenburg and serves as a striking backdrop
for the wide variety of cultural events held at the plaza. The Candlelight Fountain is a 4 m long, two-
layered waterfall that flows into the stream, and marks the start of Cheonggyecheon’s flowing
current towards the Hangang. Candlelight Fountain is particularly stunning at night with its multi-
Candlelight Fountain at night
Gwangtonggyo was the largest of Cheonggyecheon's bridges during the Joseon Dynasty, but it was
buried underground during the country's post-war economic development. Recently restored to its
former glory, Gwangtonggyo has an old-fashioned charm which makes it one of the most
photogenic places on the stream and very popular with tourists.
The Tunnel Fountain covers a 50 m stretch of the footpath that runs alongside the stream. It
features 42 bank-mounted nozzles that shoot 16 m-long jets of water above visitors’ heads. The jets
of water arch overhead into the stream to form a delightful water tunnel through which visitors can
walk and feel the simple pleasure a light refreshing mist against their faces. Gwangtonggyo was the
largest of Cheonggyecheon's bridges during the Joseon Dynasty, but it was buried underground
during the country's post-war economic development. Recently restored to its former glory,
Gwangtonggyo has an old-fashioned charm which makes it one of the most photogenic places on
the stream and very popular with tourists.
Beodeul Wetland is a place of special ecological value as a bird sanctuary (it is frequently visited by
migrating birds) and because of the wealth of aquatic plants that grow there. Nearby stands
Dumuldari, a bridge whose name means “the bridge where two currents converge." It marks the
confluence of the Cheonggyecheon and Jungnangcheon tributaries as they flow towards the
Hangang. The merging of the two currents resembles interlocked fingers and has a fairytale quality
which led UNICEF to designate Dumuldari as a children’s bridge.
Cheonggyecheon’s turbulent history is on display at the Cheonggyecheon Museum which opened
in September 2005. The museum offers visitors the chance to learn about the many changes the
stream has seen, including being buried underground and being restored. The story is told with the
help of a scale-model and period photographs. Admission is free.
Cheonggye 8 Views
Of Cheonggyecheon’s many attractions, the eight most beautiful are officially recognized as the
“Cheonggye 8 Views”. These must-see locations along the stream include the Cheonggye Plaza,
Gwangtonggyo (Bridge), the Banchado of King Jeongjo (Tile Painting), the Fashion Square (Wall of
Culture), the Historic Laundry Site, the Wall of Hope, the Old Expressway Ruins/Tunnel Fountain,
and the Beodeul Wetland.
Guided tours along the stream are available in Korean, English and Japanese. Visitors are
recommended to plan their trip in advance and to learn about Cheonggyecheon by visiting the
Cheonggyecheon Museum or website.
* Tour Route 1 (2.9 km, 3 hours): Cheonggye Plaza → Gwangtonggyo (Restored Bridge) →
Samilgyo (Jongno, Insa-dong) → Supyogyo → Saebyeokdari (KwangJang and Bangsan Market) →
Ogansugyo (Dongdaemun Fashion Town)
* Tour Route 2 (2.6 km, 2.5 hours): Cheonggyecheon Museum → Gosanjagyo → Dumuldari →
Malgeunnaedari → Ogansugyo (Dongdaemun Fashion Town)
Waterfall and stepping-stones