Love Locks on Namsan, Seoul
Namsan is a 860-foot-high peak in the center of Seoul, that once marked the city’s southern edge. Nowadays it’s home to a number of sights: the iconic N. Seoul Tower on the summit; numerous hiking trails; and some wooden hanok (traditional style) buildings on the slopes.
Besides walking up, you can take the Namsan Cable Car. The lower terminus is quite a way above street level from Myeongdong subway station, but it’s worth the hike up.
The N. Seoul Tower is one of Seoul’s best-known landmarks. It stands like a gigantic needle on top of Namsan’s summit. The observation deck gives wonderful views of the city, and there are many places to eat and be entertained, both up the Tower and below.
But, almost the most amazing sight is Seoul’s version of Love Locks.
The top of Namsan has countless “trees” covered with padlocks, which symbolize eternal love. Couples buy a lock, write a message on it and then attach the lock to one of the “trees” and throw away the keys. Many colorful locks are also on railings and lanterns. The spot is extremely popular with visitors and locals alike.
We’d heard about these Love Locks and I was very interested, as I’ve written about Love Locks in Paris, Prague and Ljubljana. See the Paris article here: https://vivsfrenchadventures.wordpress.com/2014/12/19/city-of-paris-doesnt-love-the-love-locks/
But, none of those previous Love Lock experiences could prepare us for the spectacle on Namsan in Seoul!
Words like “over-the-top”, “over-done”, “excessive” pop into my mind. There are two
places on Namsan that have these Love Locks. The first is close to the cable car top station. Here, is a plaza with “trees” and many locks on railings. Further up, at the base of the N. Seoul Tower, are many “trees”, plus another plaza, the fences of which are so plastered with locks that it’s almost unimaginable. There’s also a metal heart-shaped sculpture, decorated with metal “LOVE” words; a heart-shaped chair to pose on; and a large plaque explaining about the Love Locks in English and Korean.
There are just SO many locks that I want to post a lot of pictures to try and capture this, so please scroll through.
But, it’s all still a lot of fun, and the authorities in the city have obviously tried to prepare for this, so there’s no crisis (not yet anyway) as there was in Paris, when part of the Pont des Arts railing collapsed under the weight of the locks.