Thursday, May 28, 2015


The night I arrived at Jinju (진주, 晋洲) from Gwangju, the first thing that caught my eyes was the Jinju Fortress (진주성, 晋洲城) and its reflection on Nam River (남강, 南江). It was quite a scenery especially when viewed from the Jinju Bridge.

The Jinju Fortress is a symbol of the city and CNN recommended it as one of the fifty places in Korea tourists should visit. How do I know? Because the information was printed on the entrance ticket which cost 2,000won.

The main attractions of the fortress are the Chokseok Pavilion (촉석루, 矗石樓) and the "Righteous" Rock (의암, 義巖). Chokseok Pavilion got its name from the soaring stone peaks around it. The breathtaking view of the pavilion and its surroundings made it one of the two most famous pavilions (the other in Pyongyang) in Korea. It is also praised by many poets and artists in their works. The "Righteous" Rock was named in remembrance of a patriotic gisaeng (female professional entertainer) by the name of Non-gae (논개) who jumped off from it dragging a Japanese commander along with her into the depth of Nam River during the Japanese invasion of Korea (1592-1598).

Jinju Fortress probably doesn't look as scenic as it used to be in the olden days as the area around it is highly developed, but I still found it a very nice place to learn a bit of Korea's history and enjoy the scent of spring. It is quite convenient to get to Jinju Fortress. It is located about 200-300 metres from Jinju Inter-city Bus Terminal.

Jinju Fortress and its reflection on Nam River

Jinju Fortress's main gate - Chokseokmun  (진주성 촉석문, 晋洲城 矗石門)

Lantern of dragon warrior in front of Chokseokmun

The 12 zodiac warriors

The gate is open without sentry but that doesn't mean entry is free. Entrance fee 2,000won.

Every time I enter a gate, I like to raise my head and look at the decorative painting of dragons.

Inside of the fortress

A prominent Commander-In-Chief's flag

Chokseok Pavilion (촉석루, 矗石樓) facing the Nam River

Shoes are neatly arranged on the steps of Chokseok Pavilion

Full view of Chokseok Pavilion, not very big though.

Underneath the pavilion

Spring flower - Purple Magnolia

Spring flower - Rhododendron

Spring flower - Peony

The "Righteous" Rock (의암, 義巖) - where Non-gae dragged a Japanese commander down with her into Nam River.

Like a picture out of a water color painting

Nam River, a tributary of Nakdong River, flows through the city of Jinju

More spring flowers along the way

Spring in the fortress

A relax pace of life

Exiting the fortress by the main gate

Walking along Nam River towards Jinju Inter-city Bus Terminal. Jinju Bridge at far end.

I thought Jinju is famous for its  bibimbap but all I saw was eateries specializing in eel dishes

End of walk. Going up the slope on the left to get to the bus terminal.

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