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Gwangnaru Pedestrian Bridge in Seoul

Recent Posts, Posted by Matt in ALL DESTINATIONS,Art & Culture,Nature,Seoul, 7 Comments

Gwangnaru Pedestrian Bridge in Seoul


Gwangnaru Pedestrian Bridge in SeoulI’ve talked about the Hangang Renaissance Project before, but if you’re in need of a reminder, it’s the ambitious plan to realize the full potential of Seoul’s iconic waterway as a way to improve the quality of life for the city’s 10 million citizens.

One of the latest examples of putting that plan into action is the Gwangnaru Pedestrian Bridge in Seoul (광나루보행교), also called the Gwangjin Bridge. Located near Seoul’s eastern border with Achasan mountain (아차산), what originated as a citizen’s suggestion has become a pedestrian-friendly, park-like pathway connecting the city’s northern and southern halves.

Gwangnaru Pedestrian Bridge in Seoul

It seems like few Seoulites know of their city’s new park-bridge, but it’s definitely worth a visit. Opened in July 2009, two lanes of a four-lane bridge were transformed into 2,000 square meters of landscaped walkway. An additional two-and-a-half meters were dedicated to bicycle lanes. Modern benches, public restrooms and illumination systems complement practical landscaping.

Gwangnaru Pedestrian Bridge in Seoul

The view from the Gwangnaru Pedestrian Bridge is spectacular. While the western view looks back at the big city, the eastern panorama is green forests and a placid river surrounding the Amsa Ecological Park and Achasan mountain. Especially around sunset, the reflection of light atop the wide bend in the Hangang river is especially beautiful.

Gwangnaru Pedestrian Bridge in Seoul

Some 60 million people visit the network of Hangang Riverside parks every year, but access to them has been an issue. In response, through 2010 Seoul City will install new bus stops, subway exits, elevators and pedestrian-friendly bridges like the new one in Gwangjin.

Another cool feature of the Gwangnaru Pedestrian Bridge is the installation of themed cafés on seven Han River bridges. The bridge’s River View 8th Avenue café is the river’s second mid-span café-slash-observation deck. Named for its place on the bridge’s eighth pillar, the platform is actually located underneath the bridge. Sleek glass and steel staircases lead you below, as helpful signs name the buildings in view.

Gwangnaru Pedestrian Bridge in Seoul

The Gwangnaru Pedestrian Bridge’s theme is “art,” so appropriately the café’s southern side features a small gallery. When I was there, historic snapshots of the Hangang were on display. Four large sections of the gallery floor are glass-bottomed, offering startling views of the water below. Additionally, a small area describes the Hangang Renaissance Project with videos in both Korean and English.

Gwangnaru Pedestrian Bridge in Seoul

While one side features visual art, the café’s northern side is a dedicated performance space. Every Friday and Saturday evening, local singers and musicians can sign up online to perform there. But despite being called a “café”, the River View 8th Avenue’s proximity to a protected water source prohibits food sales.

Fortunately, both sides of the bridge offer plenty of things to see and do. On the southern side in Gangdong-gu district (강동구), a large section of the Hangang park system is being converted into a bicycle park. And nearby, the Pungnap Toseong Fortress (풍납토성) is a 3.5-kilometer earthen wall. To give some idea of how ancient Seoul’s history truly goes, the wall is assumed to have protected the first capital of the ancient Baekje Kingdom , which fell some 15 centuries ago!

But if you’re looking for a good modern dating course, why not take your special someone on a leisurely walk across the bridge, stop at the art gallery and performance space, and continue across for dinner at the nearby Sheraton Walker Hill or W Hotel?.
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For your information…

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Open 24 HoursFree Admission02-1330
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Seoul Gangdong-gu Cheonho 2(i)-dong 527-2Gwangnaru Station (#546) on Line 5, Exit 2
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7 Comments

23 June 2010 01:40

nichan91

waaaaaaaaaaw…
amazing!
i’m impress for the photograph..
and the views of course.. :)
i like it!

June 24 2010 10:55 am

Matt

Hi! It's a really cool place. I want to go back sometime soon!
Best, Matt

12 September 2010 20:50

Discovering Korea – ALL DESTINATIONS

[...] in Buam-dong [February 22, 2010] Insa-dong’s Tradition and Modernity [February 15, 2010] Gwangnaru Pedestrian Bridge [February 12, 2010] Seoul Design Olympiad 2009 [October 24, 2009] Autumn 2009 Festivals Calendar [...]

7 November 2010 21:56

Discovering Korea – Cruising the Hangang

[...] have become bicycle destinations in and of themselves. For example, two lanes each of the Jamsu and Gwangnaru bridges were converted into dedicated bicycle lanes, while eight bridge cafés and two observatories were [...]

4 July 2012 11:15

Izzie

Hi Matt: I read your blog from 2010 about the Gwangnaru Pedestrian Bridge and the cafe and performance center. We are planning a trip to Seoul in 2013 September and would really like to attend a performance in the “home” of the City Hunter! I can only find this site – which is only in Korean, and Google does not translate it. Is there an English site that lists upcoming performances and tells how to make reservations?

http://www.riverview8.co.kr/common_files/sub4_page1.asp

Thank you much! ~Izzie McCall

24 September 2012 01:12

Ray

Hi Matt,

Great article! You should definitely note the hours of operation for the pedestrian bridge. I tried going a bit late on a Sunday night after 10pm and a part of it was closed off which was a bit of a disappointment.

October 06 2012 00:04 am

Matt

Hi Ray,
I'm surprised to hear about the hours. Are they just for the observation deck, or for the entire bridge?
Thanks anyhow for the heads up!
Best, Matt

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