Ancient Mountain Fortress to Join UNESCO List

The Namhansanseong Fortress in Gyeonggi Province is set to be included on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

The Cultural Heritage Administration on Tuesday said the International Council on Monuments and Sites in a recent report to UNESCO recommended the ancient mountain fortress be listed. None of its recommendations have been rejected so far.

The listing will be determined at the 38th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Doha, Qatar on June 15-25.

A changing of the guards is reenacted at the South Gate of the Namhansanseong Fortress in Gwangju, Gyeonggi Province. /Courtesy of the Gwangju City Government A changing of the guards is reenacted at the South Gate of the Namhansanseong Fortress in Gwangju, Gyeonggi Province. /Courtesy of the Gwangju City Government

According to the administration, the fortress meets the UNESCO criteria of "an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design" and is "an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history."

Prof. Rii Hae-un, who heads the CHA's world heritage committee, said the fortress has a unique value because it also served as a temporary royal palace during the Manchu invasion of Korea in 1636.

The fortress will bring Korea's World Heritage sites to 11. If sites in the North are also counted, there are a total of 14 of them on the peninsula.

englishnews@chosun.com / Apr. 30, 2014 13:29 KST