Seoul / ‘Feng Shui’ in the making of Cheonggyecheon and the city of Seoul

Map of Seoul 1912

The map of Seoul drawn in 1912, by Hachette & Company.

This shown the mountain ribs sprawling across the northern part of Han river, which is the founding location of the old Seoul.  The mountains ribs originate from Samgaksan, which is considered in ‘Feng Shui’ theology as the back mountain, and extend out towards 3 lower mountains, namely Inwangsan(Tiger Hill), Bukhansan(Back hill), and Bukaksan(Dragon Hill).  In theory this geographical form demonstrate a convergence of fortune and wealth into the region that these mountains enclose, which is the heart of old Seoul(center of the map).  Last but not least there is also a small hill, Namsan, continuing this form in the south side, creating an enclosed basin for the city which is also good for protection from enemies and weather.

Cheonggyecheon Tributaries


The maps of Seoul, n.d., National Library of Seoul

These older maps have highlighted the tributaries of Cheonggyecheon and its relationship to the major city infrastructure’s locations.  The palace and cemetery are all located on these tributaries, which in hope to link these important symbol of power back to the origin of fortune and wealth, the river itself.  The sites for these governmental architecture follow the form of the river and its direction of flow (determining the importance of different architecture from upstream to downstream, arranged in respective order) but not the topographical nor human occupancy.



Agency, U. C. (n.d.). Korea Maps. Retrieved from Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection:

The National Library of Korea. (n.d.). 한양도도성삼군문분계지도(漢陽圖都城三軍門分界之圖). Retrieved from Map Catalog:

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