The National Museum of Korea (NMK) endeavors to preserve, exhibit and interpret the country's cultural heritage and, through international cultural exchanges, strives to become a world-class institution that serves the Korean people. Covering archaeology, history and arts, its exhibits and education programs aim to reach a broad and diverse audience within an accessible cultural visitor complex.
This naturally formed stream existed long before the Joseon Dynasty designated Seoul as the capital, drawing women to wash their clothes and children to play in the cool waters. During the Japanese colonial period the Cheonggyecheon became heavily polluted from rubbish and sewerage flowing from makeshift huts built along its shores. After the Korean War (1950 - 1953) more people migrated into Seoul, settling along the Cheonggyecheon and adding to its stench. The government decided on a quick-fix solution to this problem by covering the stream with concrete, beginning in August 1958 with the 136m section near Gwangtonggyo. In addition, a 5.6 km long and 16 m wide elevated highway extending from Gwanggyo to Majang-dong was completed over the stream in August 1971. In the process, all makeshift houses along the stream were demolished, allowing modern commercial developers to move in. The stream has since been recovered and now serves as a beautiful oasis within the city of Seoul.