Committee Decisions

34 COM 8B.21

Cultural Properties - Historic Villages of Korea: Hahoe and Yangdong (Republic of Korea)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Documents WHC-10/34.COM/8B and WHC-10/34.COM/INF.8B1,

2. Inscribes the Historic Villages of Korea: Hahoe and Yangdong, Republic of Korea, on the World Heritage List on the basis of criteria (iii) and (iv) ;

3. Adopts the followings statement of Outstanding Universal Value:

Brief Synthesis

The two villages of Hahoe and Yangdong are located in the south-eastern region of the Korean peninsula, the heartland of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), that ruled the Korean Peninsula for more than five hundred years. There is a distance of 90km between them.

Sheltered by forested mountains and facing out onto rivers and open agricultural fields, Hahoe and Yangdong in their landscape settings are seen as the two most representative historic, clan villages in Korea. They were founded in the 14th-15th century and subsequently expanded to their present size and composition in the late 18th and 19th centuries. Their layout and siting, reflect the distinctive aristocratic Confucian culture of the early part of the Joseon Dynasty.

The villages were located to provide both physical and spiritual nourishment from their surrounding landscapes. They include the residences of the head families, together with substantial timber framed houses of other clan members, also pavilions, study halls, Confucian academies for learning, and clusters of one storey mud-walled, thatched-roofed houses, formerly for commoners. The landscapes of mountains, trees and water around the villages, framed in views from pavilions and retreats, were celebrated for their beauty by 17th and 18th century poets.

Within the two villages, the outstanding ensembles of buildings, their siting, planning and building traditions, are exceptional reflections of the social and cultural systems of the Joseon Dynasty, of the particularly distinctive system of clan villages that is specific to this area, and of the way these evolved over five centuries.

Criterion (iii): Hahoe and Yangdong are two of the best preserved and representative examples of clan villages, a type of settlement characterizing the early part of the Joseon Dynasty. In their siting, planning and building traditions the two villages are an exceptional testimony to the Confucianism of the Joseon dynasty, which produced settlements that followed strict Confucian ideals over a period of some five hundred years.

Criterion (iv): The village ensembles of Hahoe and Yangdong reflect the impact of the Joseon Dynasty that profoundly influenced the development of the Korean peninsula over some five centuries. The villages, and particularly the ensemble of yangban and commoners' houses, and their overall and individual planning, reflect the precepts of this Dynasty in terms of its social structures and cultural traditions as well as its power and influence and its literary, and philosophical traditions.

Integrity

The main attributes of the clan village such as houses of the nobility and commoners, formal spatial layout, study halls and academies, are present within the nominated boundaries of both villages. In Hahoe, the Byeongsanseowon Confucian Academy is 4km to the east and in Yangdong village the Oksanseowon and Donggangseowon Confucian Academies are some 8km and 4km respectively from the village and not spatially linked to it.

The harmonious landscape setting, including the river, forests and mountain that inspired writers is present in Hahoe, although partly in the buffer zone, and is present to a lesser degree of completeness in Yangdong. Here the Allakcheon stream, the Angang fields, (both of which are in the view from the Suunjeong Pavilion) and the upper reaches of the mountain are not included in the nominated area.

The property does not suffer from other than minimal adverse effects of development and has not suffered from neglect. However the setting of Yangdong village has been compromised to a degree by new infrastructure, such as bridges, roads and a railway.

 Authenticity

In terms of the clan villages the way the attributes truthfully reflect Outstanding Universal Value relates to the ability of the buildings, village layout, setting and dynamic clan rituals to express the way the village houses are an exceptional manifestation of the Joseon political and cultural regimes and the way they were shaped by Confucianism. ICOMOS considers that villages express well the hierarchical layout of the settlements, and the expressions of the influential clan nobility and scholars.

Where authenticity has been slightly compromised is in the use of materials for some of the restoration projects the remodeling that has taken place, particularly in Hahoe, where some of the buildings have been modified for new uses. These interventions at time blur the link with Joseon period materials, techniques and planning, and the ability of the buildings to contribute to outstanding universal value.

Requirements for Protection and Management

Hahoe Village and Yangdong Village have been protected under the National Heritage Protection Act since 1984. For Hahoe village the boundary of the Cultural Heritage Protection Area covers the shared buffer zone, and, in some instances, even extends the protection to the wider setting. For Yangdong village the boundary of the Cultural Heritage Protection Area covers the village area and a small portion of the buffer zone, and the outlying property, except Donggangseowon Confucian Academy, and a small portion of the buffer zone (except in the case of Dongnakdang House). The forests are preserved under the framework of the Cultural Heritage Protection Law - just like the buildings and houses in the villages. Within the villages, six houses in Hahoe (out of 124) and two houses in Yangdong (out of 149) are individually designated as National treasures. In summary, at the state level, there is protection, through designation, of both Hahoe and Yangdong Villages, and all associated places, except for Donggangseowon Confucian Academy, and individual protection for eight houses.

This national protection has been strengthened by the following national directives or guidance: Mid- and Long-term Vision of the Cultural Heritage Policy: Cultural Heritage 2011 (2007); Detailed Implementation Plan for the Conservation, Utilization and Comprehensive Maintenance of Folk Villages (2004); Hahoe Village Design Guidelines (2007); and Yangdong Village Design Guidelines (2007).

At provincial level there are overall provisions for conservation, ranging from the definition of cultural heritage to their conservation, management and utilization. Donggangseowon Confucian Academy is protected at provincial level.

At local level, for Hahoe Village there are Ordinances of Andong City for Protecting Cultural Heritage (2004) which includes provisions for conservation and management. There is also a Master Plan for Hahoe Village Renovation (2002); an Urban Master Plan for Andong City toward 2016 (1998) and a Hahoe Tourism Complex Development (Creation) Plan (2003 [1998]).

For Yangdong village there is a Master Plan for Yangdong Village Renovation (2002); Long-term Comprehensive Development Plan for Gyeongju City for 2006-2020 (2006); and a Development Master Plan for Creation of Historic and Cultural City of Gyeongju for 2005-2034 (2004). Within the villages, six houses in Hahoe (out of 124) and two houses in Yangdong (out of 149) are individually designated as National treasures.

Additionally, the entire area of properties and buffer zones and the immediate surroundings are under a series of government controls, i.e. Control Area, Agriculture and Forest Area or Natural Environment Protection Area.

In summary, at the state level, there is protection, through designation, of both Hahoe and Yangdong Villages, and all associated places, except for Donggangseowon Confucian Academy, and individual protection for eight houses.

This national protection has been strengthened by the following national directives or guidance: Mid- and Long-term Vision of the Cultural Heritage Policy: Cultural Heritage 2011 (2007); Detailed Implementation Plan for the Conservation, Utilization and Comprehensive Maintenance of Folk Villages (2004).

There is a need to ensure that detailed guidance on restoration techniques and materials is adhered to for all buildings in order to maintain authenticity of individual buildings. In order to prevent visuals intrusions in the landscape, there is a need to wider active conservation to include forest areas, trees, river margins and the overall visual landscape. As the villages are very well visited, there is also a need to ensure that cultural tourism strategies respect an agreed carrying capacity of buildings and the tolerance of residents. And of utmost importance is the need to ensure the highest standards of fire protection and fire response are in place.

4. Requests that the State Party report back to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2011 on the implementation of a coordinated management system for the two component sites, as prescribed by Paragraph 114 of the Operational Guidelines;

Themes: Inscriptions on the World Heritage List
States Parties: Republic of Korea
Session: 34COM