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Posts tagged May 18 Memorial Park 5.18 기념공원

5.18 Memorial Park Temple

may 18 memorial park gwangju temple

Temple in May 18 Memorial Park in Gwangju

This temple is at the top of a long flight of stairs. The trees surrounding the temple have grown so much since it was built that you can’t see past any of them anymore so the temple looks almost abandoned at this point. I bet the view from here was spectacular a little over a decade ago.

5.18 Memorial Park statue

may 18 memorial park gwangju boy statue

Boy reaching for the sky statue
May 18 Memorial Park (Gwangju, South Korea)

Remember the “parcourse”?

par course outdoor 5 18 memorial park gwangju korean exercise equipment

Korean exercise equipment (par course)

In the 1970s they built a parcourse (or is it par course?) at the San Leandro Marina. We went there quite often. In fact, I think my mom went there virtually every day for several years. Perhaps they built these all over the USA at the time. I haven’t seen many since, but maybe they are still being built. Basically, they are outdoor exercise equipment.

In South Korea, outdoor exercise equipment is ubiquitous. You can’t find a park or riverbank without them. I have even seen indoor gym equipment (bench press bench with barbell locked by a metal cable to the ground) outdoors in Korea. This time of year they don’t seem to be getting a lot of use (due to the heat and humidity), but I’m guessing they wouldn’t be there if they weren’t well used the rest of the year. Or maybe the manufacturer just has some special relations with someone in the government.

May 18th Memorial Park (5.18 기념공원)

photomerge 3 story pagoda 5-18 park gwangju

View from Owolru or Owoldae Tower (오월루)

I took today’s photo (photos actually as this is a eight photo photomerge covering about 160 degrees) from the top floor (3rd floor) of a pagoda/tower in the May 18 Memorial Park in Gwangju.

When they built this tower, Owol-ru or May Observatory, more than a dozen years ago, I don’t think they thought about what would happen once the trees all grew to their full height. Right now, most of the views are obscured by trees, and that condition will only grow worse. I had to stand my 6’4″ body on the top of the top rail to see anything above the trees and take this panorama. I saw a photo in the 5.18 Memorial Culture Center (in this same park) that showed the tower with no trees around it. As things stand, if they don’t do a massive trim job on the trees soon, they will need to add another story or two to the pagoda or the views from there will be of only trees regardless of how tall you are or where you stand.

The 5.18 Memorial Culture Center shows a 12 minute or so video of the Gwangju massacre that is narrated in English. Don’t miss it if you are in Gwangju. There are also many large photos of late May 1980 in the room that I haven’t seen elsewhere.