Cheonggyecheon Stream is an 8.4 kilometer (5.2 mile) waterway and public space that runs from west to east through the heart of downtown Seoul. During the Joseon Dynasty, the stream was known as Gaecheon, meaning open stream.
Over the years, the stream which brought national pride, was refurbished many times by the orders of multiple kings.
During the reign of King Taejong, who reigned from 1400 to 1418, the banks were strengthen and bridges were built.
Refurbishment work became a national project during the reign of King Yeonjo, who ruled from 1724 to 1776.
The stream was renamed to Cheonggyecheon during the Japanese occupation. During this time, attempts to cover it up were unsuccessful.
Makeshift houses were built on the banks of the water after the Korean War. Over the next few years, trash and waste from residents living in the area caused conditions to deteriorate and become an eyesore for the city.
In 1958, work started to convert the waterway into an elevated highway. In 1976, work was completed on the 5.6 kilometer (3.4 mile) concrete highway.
In July 2003, work began to remove the elevated highway and restore Cheonggyecheon to its original beauty. Work took over two years to complete which included pumping 120,000 tons of water back into the dry stream and restoring Gwangtonggyo Bridge and Supyogyo Bridge.
In September 2005, Cheonggyecheon was reopened to the public. This new landmark is now a popular destination for tourists and locals who want to experience natural beauty and wildlife in a large, urban city.
Cheonggye Plaza is a public square in central Seoul that commemorates the restoration of the Cheonggyecheon Stream which was once an elevated highway. The plaza is located at the head of the stream which runs 8.4 kilometers (5.2 miles) through the heart of Seoul.
Read more about Cheonggye Plaza
Gwangtonggyo Bridge was one of the most important and busiest bridges in Seoul during the Joseon Dynasty when markets could be found lining both sides. Originally, it was built using wood and soil, but was destroyed by massive floods.
Read more about Gwangtonggyo Bridge
Mojeongyo Bridge is one of the first bridges encountered on the west end of Cheonggyecheon Stream near Cheonggye Plaza and Gwanghwamun Square. Sweet scented fruits were sold at this location in the past.
Read more about Mojeongyo Bridge
Directions To Cheonggyecheon Stream
Cheonggyecheon Stream can be accessed by multiple subway lines and subways stations.
Stations : City Hall, Jonggak, Jongno 3-ga, Jongno 5-ga, Dongdaemun, Sinseoldong
Stations : Euljiro 1-ga, Euljiro 3-ga, Euljiro 4-ga, Sindang, Sangwangsibni
Stations : Jongno 3-ga
Stations : Dongdaemun History & Culture Park
Stations : Gwanghwamun