Jeju Stone Park

DSCF5660

Jeju Island is literally made out of volcanic rock, and volcanic rock has played a large role in Jeju life in culture. To learn all about it, the best place to go is Jeju Stone Park.

The map shows that Jeju Stone Park is in north-central Jeju Island, to the southeast of Jeju City.

After going through the entrance gate, in the first course you go past the tall stones at the top of this pictures, and then you see the stone piles shown below:

DSCF5663

The theme of this section is Grandmother Seolmundae, the spirit/goddess who created Jeju Island, and the 500 generals, which some legends claim were all her sons (hey, if she’s a goddess, maybe she can have 500 sons). The Jeju Stone Park website tells the story of Grandmother Seolmundae and the 500 Generals.

DSCF5664

I then entered the Stone Museum, which has the “Jeju Formation Hall” which explains all of the science of how Jeju was created – the various volcanic activities which created Jeju Island, how the caves of Jeju were created, how the oreum were created, how Jeju’s water sources were created, etc.

DSCF5670

In the center of this science hall is a 3D model of Jeju Island.

DSCF5677

The Stone Museum also has extensive galleries of stones from Jeju Island, highlighting their unusual features and beauty. It really is very impressive – it was hard for me to pick which photos to put into this post. The gallery is accompanied with lots of detail about how different types of rocks on Jeju Island were originally made.

I think this is a 'volcanic bomb' but I might be misremembering.

I think this is a ‘volcanic bomb’ but I might be misremembering.

DSCF5683

I then went to the next viewing course, which focused on culture – the use of stone on Jeju throughout the ages.

DSCF5687

And of course, there was an entire lineup of harubang (the ‘stone grandfathers’ which symbolize Jeju Island).

DSCF5689

The upright stone below is the ‘Menhir Languishing for Mother’.

DSCF5691

It was impressive just how many meaningful stones they were able to gather together, and the background – partially clear, partially cloudy sky with a few oreum visible – was the perfect atmosphere.

I forget what this was supposed to represent, but it is definitely very cool

I forget what this was supposed to represent, but it is definitely very cool

These stones all have some kind of meaning related to Jeju culture, even if I no longer remember the meaning months later.

DSCF5700

I do think the stones below are supposed to represent the 500 generals.

DSCF5707

There is also a traditional Jeju-style village to explore. It’s not ‘real’ like Seongeup Folk Village, but as far as I can tell this reconstructed village is well-researched.

DSCF5714

And of course, the fact that nobody lives in this village means that you don’t have to worry about respecting people’s privacy.

DSCF5715

Above is a jug which visitors are invited to lift up. It represents the jugs women on Jeju used to carry water in the old days. Lifting it up ourselves is supposed to help us appreciate how difficult their lives were.

DSCF5717

I thought that all of these thatched-roof buildings made of lava rock with that sky in the background was very aesthetic.

DSCF5723

There is also an art gallery featuring works inspired by Jeju’s landscape. Photos are not permitted inside. I remember being impressed by some of the artwork, and since I had already seen quite a bit of Jeju I recognized some of the landscapes. In the basement there are the roots of tall trees on display.

DSCF5726

In the folk village, there is also an example of a mill which would be drawn by a horse.

DSCF5729

I loved this stone park. It brought together an overload of information about science, with Jeju folklore, with artwork, with Jeju’s old way of life, and it tied this all together with the unifying theme of stone. The kind of travel I like is very educational, and in particular helps me make connections between phenomena which I had not made before, particularly unexpected connections. On top of that, I want to see beautiful places and things. Jeju Stone Park does all of that.

DSCF5727

It was hard to pick which photos to include in this post and which to leave out, and there are many details of this place which I did not mention in this post. I wish had spent a little more time at Jeju Stone Park, and if you ever go to Jeju Island, I highly recommend that you visit yourself.

DSCF5731

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Art, Geology, Hanok/Folk Village, Jeju, Mostly Photos, Museum and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Jeju Stone Park

  1. Pingback: SK in SK: Chronological Order | S.K. in S.K.

  2. Pingback: SK in SK: A History of South Korea | S.K. in S.K.

  3. Pingback: SK in SK: Climates of South Korea | S.K. in S.K.

  4. Pingback: SK in SK: The Landscape of Feelings | S.K. in S.K.

  5. Pingback: SK in SK: Discovery vs. Construction | S.K. in S.K.

  6. Pingback: Epilogue: My Favorites in South Korea | S.K. in S.K.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s