East Gate seen through the cherry blossoms atop Namsan Park.
The front of Namgomun (남고문).
With gates in the news after the Namdaemun fire, here are a few photos of Naju's two: Namgomun (남고문) and Dongmun (동문터). They are the remnants of Najueupseong (나주읍성), the fortress that once surrounded present-day Naju, Jeollanam-do, back when it was a strategic port city. They are obviously a lot smaller and a lot less-known than those in Seoul, but they still look neat, especially in an otherwise ordinary town. According to the placard in front of East Gate:
The initial construction date of Naju-eup Fortress remains unknown . . .
The current Naju-eup Fortress was completed by Kim Gye-hui, a magistrate of Naju-mok who held office from August 11, 1457 to November 21, 1459. The Maeil sinbo newspaper(July 23, 1913 issue) reported that the fortress's east gate collapsed in 1912, during the Japanese colonial rule of Korea. It is presumed that the south gate collapsed sometime between October 1916 and 1920.
Naju-eup Fortress, like most of the town and city fortresses of the Joseon Dynasty, was built making advantage of plains and hills with Mt. Geumseong Fotress in the background. Its preimter measures 3,679m, and the whole fortress covers some 974,390m2(294,753 pyeong). The east gate was called Dongjeommun, the west gate Seoseongmun, the south gate Namgomun, and the north gate Bukmangmun.
The fortress is designated as historical site no. 337, and both gates are short walks from Naju's bus terminal. Naver's encyclopedia has a few decent photographs here, and Naju's site has kept track of nearby historical sites.
Namgomun from down the street. This is actually the rear of the gate.
Rear of East Gate.
The front of East Gate is masked by a wall, and the wall is bordered by a parking lot and Namsan Park.
Visitors can walk through the East Gate and go on both stories. The gate is in pretty good shape.