On a volcanic island totalling just 1,800 square kilometers, much of it dominated by a massive shield volcano smack dab in its center, there’s so much to say about the topic of its geological makeup.
Basically, you can’t get around the topic of stones, and it just so happens that it’s actually a pretty interesting and unique subject which goes to the heart of Jeju-do Island as a culture and society.
So it’s no surprise then that there’s an institution dedicated to the subject. Jeju Stone Park is a 327-hectare ecological park and museum designed to showcase this unique attribute of the island.
Did you know? Jeju Stone Park has a dedicated exhibition hall which lays out — both chronologically and by function — stone items that were used in Jeju households. Some of these you might not recognize, but others may look familiar. There are even examples of stone toys and games that Jeju kids used to play.
First off, this is a huge place and project which kicked off in 2006 and won’t be complete until 2020. There is so much to see, that if you’re a visitor intent on learning a great deal about Jeju, then you should definite set aside a half day at least to enjoy the entire park.
There are three walking courses around its expansive grounds, which lead visitors through a number of traditional thatched-roofed Jeju structures (many of which were “rescued” from demolition and brought to the park at great expense to ensure their continued longevity.)
So, too, have a great number of Jeju stone grandfather statues, or dolhareubang, and other rare volcanic stone formations been collected and preserved here.
The park’s museum, stone culture exhibition hall, an art gallery, outdoor exhibition space and more are strategically located around the grounds. An area of the museum called the Jeju Formation Exhibition Hall is particularly enlightening regarding the island’s origins.
Another interesting architectural feature of the park is the “Sky Pond,” which has a symbolism that is very meaningful to the Jeju people. According to the park’s introduction, it represents two symbols of Grandmother Seolmundae’s differing legends. In one it represents the cauldron in which she threw herself to save her starving children; the other is Muljangori Pond, where she drowned after boasting about being 49,000-meters in height.
Did you know? The Sky Pond is a circular pond set into the roof of the museum building. It’s an impressive 40 meters in diameter and 125 meters in circumference. On a calm day it reflects the surrounding hills and trees almost like a mirror, and makes for a great photo-op.
In such a peaceful location nestled amid some smaller volcanic cones in the area, Jeju Stone Park is a perfect place for a quiet stroll (again, there are three courses ranging from an hour to nearly 3 hours in length) and peaceful contemplation in Jeju’s beauty.
Connect with us on social media: