|• Revised Romanization||Namwon-si|
|Administrative divisions||1 si, 15 myeon, 9 dong|
|• Total||752.12 km2 (290.40 sq mi)|
|• Density||116/km2 (300/sq mi)|
Namwon is a small city located just outside of Jirisan National Park, which has the largest set of mountains on the South Korean Mainland. It is 3 and a half hours from the Seoul Central City Bus Terminal and about one hour from both the U-Square Bus Terminal in Gwangju and the Jeonju Inter City Bus Terminal. It is called "the City of Love" because of the famous Korean love story of Chunhyang. Gwanghallu Garden is a shrine to this love story.
The city suffered during the Siege of Namwon in 1597 which was part of the Imjin War. During the siege that lasted from August 13 to August 16 the only defenders against the Japanese army of 56,000 men were 3300 Korean and Chinese soldiers and 6000 women and children. In the end the Japanese found a way to enter the city and killed all the soldiers and civilians.
Namwon is located in a basin bordered by the Sobaek Mountains to the east and the Buheung Mountain Ridges to the west with the Yocheon River flowing through the city. Namwon is bordered by the counties of Imsil and Sunchang to the west, Jangsu to the north, Hamyang and Hadong in Gyeongsangnam-do to the east, and Gurye and Gokseong in Jeollanam-do to the south.
The average yearly temperature of Namwon is 12.3℃ with the average temperature in January being -1.4℃ and 25.2℃ in August. Due to its location in a mountainous basin with a high rate of precipitation, the climate of Namwon varies greatly. Winds in Namwon are usually weak and blow north to west in the winter and south to west in the summer. However, temperatures can sometimes (briefly) drop below -10℃ in January and wind chills making it feel as though it were below -15℃. These winds are part of a cold front that come down from Siberia for a very brief time. Temperatures in July can often reach 33℃, with the humidity making it feel as though it were in the 40's℃. The humidity over the Korean peninsula from June through September comes from south east Asia. Temperatures in spring (April and May) and fall (September and October) are often in the mid 20's℃ and with low humidity.
|Climate data for Namwon (1981–2010)|
|Average high °C (°F)||5.0
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−1.4
|Average low °C (°F)||−6.8
|Precipitation mm (inches)||31.2
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)||8.4||7.1||8.3||7.7||8.9||9.8||14.9||15.5||8.4||5.9||7.1||7.3||109.3|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||157.5||175.0||203.0||222.1||223.5||182.9||159.0||176.4||181.2||197.6||162.7||156.0||2,199.3|
|Source: Korea Meteorological Administration|
According to the legend, Chunhyang was a maiden who was taken advantage of by an immoral local governor who forced her to marry him while the young man she really loved was away on government affairs. When the young man returned he disguised himself as a common person and saw for himself the myriad of injustices that the local governor had perpetrated; using his authority to kill him, things are set straight and the maiden is set free, giving the tale a happy ending.
The main bridge that crosses the river that runs through the middle of the city is lit up, and along the river bank there are vendors selling food and items of all kinds. The Chunhyang beauty contest can be entered by the most beautiful female residents, in traditional dress. Another event is the Chunhyang parade which runs through cordoned sections of the city along the river bank, and which comprises just about the entire complement of the city's mid-grade schoolgirls (numbering probably in the low hundreds) who are dressed in full chogori and carry musical instruments of some type, and who march in a very long line. There are also other parades of men and anyone else who is not a young girl may dress up in traditional dress and join the procession. The festival lasts four days and fireworks are launched every night.
For the rest of the year when the festival is not on, there is a small theme park dedicated to Chunhyang (Namwon Tourist Complex) complete with hypothetical dwellings and surroundings that someone like Chunhyang would have had (a mock house and yard). There are other sights in the park unrelated to Chunhyang such as a fish pond where visitors are free to feed the fish and some old-fashioned swings and horseshoe-style throwing games. Outside the park, along the river bank, there are also mini paddle boats that people can rent to traverse the small river.
- Mangbok Temple Site, constructed between 1046 and 1083 during the rule of King Munjong of Goryeo
- Silsangsa Temple, a Buddhist temple
- Gwanghallu Garden, a traditional garden that symbolizes the universe (commonly attributed to the Chunhyang story)
- Cheongheobu Gate, the main entrance to Gwanghallu Garden
- Wanwoljeong Pavilion
- Chunhyang Shrine, built in the memory of Chunhyang
- Wolmaejib House
- Chunhyanggwan Hall
Additional Pictures of Namwon area