Eaves create a beautiful scene with the blue sky with a narrow wooden porch running along the outside of rooms keeping a record of time.
Hanok, Korean traditional house, with hundreds of years of history are taking us back in time during autumn.
Andong is a small city in Gyeongsangbuk-do Province where traditional culture is embedded in the whole region.
The Nakdonggang River, the longest river in Korea, flows through the city.
The river offers peaceful, serene scenery, and there is hanok against Yeongnamsan Mountain.
Over the stone wall, a majestic traditional house captures the eye. It is called Imcheongak.
Imcheongak is open for everyone. Also, some 40 big and small parts of the house capture the passing of time.
The in-house cultural commentator provides an insight into history. The house must be a pleasant surprise for these children who are used to modern housing.
"I was very surprised to hear that this house has 99 rooms."
"I hope the house will be preserved for the next generations to learn about Korean history and enjoy its imposing beauty.
Preservation will be the key."
Imcheongak was built in 1519 about 500 years ago, famous for its size?99 rooms? and cultural value. This grand house is designated as national cultural heritage.
For the same reason, the descendants are currently using 7 rooms as a guesthouse after minimal maintenance work.
About 10 square meters in size, the room looks cozy and humble.
This place brings the natural world inside, a signature trait of hanok. Therefore, guests can get a glimpse into the way Korean ancestors enjoyed nature and life.
"I can enjoy the crisp autumn breeze here, and the atmosphere is very relaxing. It’s a wonderful place."
The Lee clan of Andong was a noble family where 7 independence patriots came from. The house was a cradle of Korean independence movement during Japanese occupation.
And Japan built a railroad just 7m away from the house in response to their participation in the independence movement.
During the construction process, about half of the house was lost.
"This house was built with the mountain in back and the river in front. Along the river was a path leading to the upper area.
Also, there were many houses around Imcheonggak, including some thatch-roofed homes, which were all destroyed for the construction of the railway."
The railway noise and vibrations still damage the cultural heritage. The good thing is the double tracking of the railway is currently under construction, and the house will be able to maintain an adequate distance from the railway soon.
More guests visit the house at sunset.
The owner serves chrysanthemum tea and Korean sweets to the guests who had to make a long journey to the house. It’s their way of expressing their gratitude to people who treasure the cultural value of Imcheongak.
"I find modern houses somewhat artificial. Therefore, I chose this hanok to show my children the beauty of Korean traditional houses
and to let them experience what it is like living in hanok.I wanted to experience that myself as well. That’s why I picked this house,
and I’m very happy with my decision so far."
Now the sun is gone and the moon is illuminating the night.
And there is another light ? Korean traditional paper lamp.
The guests enjoy a night walk with that dim light. Everything is very different from the city’s night.
Then we hear tranquil music from this old traditional house.
The daegeum , Korean bamboo flute, and the haegeum , Korean string, present beautiful harmony.
The autumn night is getting deeper, and the 500-year old hanok enjoys another beautiful night.
"I had a wonderful time performing in this wonderful venue. It was nice singing and sharing such warm moments with the audience."
"The music perfectly complemented the house, and the whole atmosphere was amazing. This concert has definitely made my day."
Hanok display the quintessence of Korean traditional culture. Why don’t you experience that authentic beauty this fall?