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Cheonggyecheon Stream is a river that runs through Seoul from east to west. Until recently it was just a forgotten river. 10.84 km long, the cheonggyecheon undergone some changes.

The disappearance of a river

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Originally a river, Cheonggyeccheon was a tributary of the Han River. After the Korean War, Seoul reconstruction and modernization of the country, Cheonggyecheon slowly become an enormous open sewer . Like other rivers and for reasons of hygiene and urbanization, Cheonggyecheon was covered and transformed into a road in 1945. Then in 1968 an elevated expressway was built at the same location. Thus, in 2002, Lee Myung-bak, then Seoul Mayor decided to launch a huge project to rehabilitate the river. A Herculean task then begins. This impressive project began in 2003 after the demolition of the road; we will find ancient remains forgotten in their concrete prison. It is particularly the case of a bridge dating from the Joseon dynasty and who was later integrated into the project.

The rehabilitation project does not just eliminate the expressway and road traffic (Seoul is already known for these monster traffic jams), but it is facing another major problem: the drying up of the river. To solve this issue they had to create a gigantic circuit for pumping some 120,000 tons of water per day from the Han River (and some other source).
The project lasted for two years and was a success! Now the river is about 6 km from Taepyeongno (태평로) to Sindapcheolgyo (신답 철교).

Cheonggyecheon stream nowadays

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Several representations of culture and Korean art are visible all along the way. You will come across 22 bridges which 9 are reconstructions of bridges crossing the river in 1970, fountains and waterfalls, each with their story to tell, the great frescoes in praise of King Jeongjo (정조) or a wall covering hopes and desires of thousands of Koreans. At nightfall, you can also attend several small shows of lights. The cascade of Cheonggye Plaza (청계 광장) then colored in blue and a few meters away, just across a small wooden bridge, a wall of water gushed out of nowhere and serves as a screen for a light show about love stories.

It’s an enjoyable place especially during hot days; it is also possible to soak your feet in the water ( if you are not too afraid of having them tickle them with fish). It is especially a place particularly popular with couples!

Throughout the year, various festivals and events are held at the stream.

Check out our Cheonggyecheon tour  by onedaykorea, the largest selection of Korea Tour Packages.

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