The path extending from Andong City to Cheongnyangsan in the northeast is called Toegye-ro. Route 35 is called Yean-gil because of the old name of Waryong-myeon where Dosan Seowon is located.
When you turn a few curves around the sharply curved road and climb to Anmakjae, you will feel relaxed as the slow slope starts from then.
On the right side of the road, around the time the upper stream of Andong Lake, which forms the upper stream of the Nakdonggang River, appears, a road leading to Dosan Seowon appears.
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There is now a clear road for tourist buses to come and go just below Dosan Seowon, but in the past, scholars would have come and go through Dosan Seowon through a dense road along the Nakdong River.
Now, there is no way to find the old way in the waters of Andong Dam, but if you look at Dosan Seowon Island painted by Gumjae Jeongseon in the 18th century, you can see that the water of Nakdong River flowed in front of Seowon.
In “Taekliji” a book written by Lee Joong-hwan, who studied the landscape of Korea`s mountains in the 18th century and discussed a place for the gentry to live in, it says that the best place where the village can live near the stream are the place Dosan in Yean & Hahoe in Adnong.
It was chosen because it is suitable for living long in peacetime and turbulent times, even though it was near the stream.
Because the big river is not near, the boat is not busy. Instead, there is a small stream, so it is easy to get the necessary supplies on a barge.
The rice paddies are not far away, so it is suitable for farming, and Sobaeksan is not too far away, so it is good to move when troubles times.
Dosan Seowon is the center of Confucians of Yeongnam and the center of the Yi Hwang family. They hold ancestral rites in spring and fall every year.
Toegye built Dosan Seodang on the south side of Dosan and taught students, but moved to the current location because Toegye didn’t like the spot, so it took its place in 1561, after five years of construction. It was the year when he was 61 years old, the last year of his retirement.
Then, in 1570 when he passed away, people took a memorial tablet at the back of the seodang and developed it into a seowon.
In 1575 Dosan Seowon was granted a Name Tag by king Seonjo and established a form of seowon by creating a grand style in the Seowon.
Seowonan, an internal rule that supports Seowon as well as buildings, was also prepared and later became a model for other seowon.
It is currently designated as Historic Site No. 170.
Dosan Seowon has produced many Confucian scholar that have been dedicated to the construction of ideal society since the middle of Joseon Dynasty.
However, people who enter and exit Dosan Seowon now seem to be only passing through the facade rather than the spiritual meaning.
It may be because Dosan Seowon somehow feels like a tourist attraction because it has lost many of its old features.
This is what it looks like after the country renovated it in 1970. It seems that the so-called “purification project” such as making drive roads, painting new dancheong, painting relics, and building walls with stone walls higher than the eye level, does not quite match the will of the Toegye who built Dosan Seodang, which became a tourist destination.
This Dosan Seowon renovation made the space of Dosan Seowon, which had been authoritatively placed, even more authoritative.
Moreover, on the right side as soon as we enters the main gate of Seowon, a Sciadopityaceae trees planted by then-President Park jung-hee, who ordered the project, is holding out, causing the traditional landscape to lose its flavor.
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