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Andong is known as the capital of the Korean spirit. It is steeped in Korean culture and tradition. Queen Elizabeth visited here in 1999 and celebrated her 73rd birthday in this city.

We started our first day by visiting a hanji factory.

Hanji is traditional Korean paper made from the bark of the Mulberry tree.

First the bark is prepared and separated by color and processed into pulp.

Next the pulp is mixed into vats of water and sifted out on large screens and then expertly rolled out in sheets, one stacked on the next,

on to large padded boards

which are then sandwiched with a second board and transported to a huge press.

Once most of the water is removed the individual sheets are applied one by one to a huge, very hot, wall iron and then the dried sheets are removed and stacked.

The shocking part for me was that this double sided wall iron was fueled by wood!

It was around 98 degrees outside! Can you imagine? And these people were so hard-working it was truly admirable.

And the finished results are beautiful.

These traditional costumes were made from hanji. Do you see the framed art in the right hand background below?

It is made of tiny cut pieces of paper as well. (Remember you can

double click to enlarge.) Amazing huh?

Now on to Bongjeongsa temple…

Bonjeongsa is home to Geuknakjeon Hall, which at 850 years, is the oldest wooden structure in Korea.

The abundance of colorful lanterns hanging from the ceilings was mesmerizing

as was the ceiling itself.

Old and faded paint

and artwork

showed the wear of time.

I love these photos

of the monks clotheslines.

Legend says that in 672, a monk made a paper phoenix,

cast it into the air, and then built the temple on the spot it landed.

Next we visited Hahoe Folk Village.

It is home to the mask festival and the carvings are evident

near the entrance to the village.

In the center of the village there is a 600 year old sacred Zelkova tree.

It is said that the goddess Samsin resides in the tree. She is the goddess of pregnancy and childbirth and the thousands of paper strips draped around the tree

are wishes for a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby.

Now I’ll be quiet and let’s just walk and appreciate the sights….

I hope you enjoyed it! xoxo