Seonyudo Park
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From a water purification plant supplying water to the city to an eco-park providing rest and relaxation to the people

Seonyudo Park

Seonyudo, a green eco-park on the Hangang River, is an island as beautiful as its meaning, which means “island where the gods play.” Seonyudo Island was originally a small peak along the Hangang River called “Seonyubong.” Past images of Seonyubong Peak and its surroundings can be seen in the Album of Famous Scenic Attractions in the Capital Region (Gyeonggyo Myeongseungcheop), which are a collection of beautiful scenic paintings of the Hangang River and Hanyang* by Jeong Seon (pen name Gyeomjae; 1676–1759), master of Jingyeong Landscape Paintings** of the Joseon Dynasty (1392–1910).


After a massive flood swept through the Hangang River in 1925, stones and rocks needed to build an embankment for the Hangang River were quarried in Seonyubong Peak, ruining the beautiful landscape. Then as sand for the 1965 construction of Yanghwadaegyo Bridge connecting areas north and south of the Hangang River, and the 1968 development project of the Hangang River was taken from Seonyubong, the peak eventually became Seonyudo Island. The Seonyu Water Purification Plant was built on the island in 1978, and as a result, the splendid scenery of Seonyubong Peak seen in Jeong Seon's painting some 300 years ago completely disappeared.

Seonyu Water Purification Plant, which supplied water to the southwest region of Seoul for about 20 years since 1978, was shut down in December 2000 when it merged with another water purification plant in the Hangang River area and relocated. Upon the closing of the purification plant, the Seoul Metropolitan Government decided to turn the site into a cultural and rest area for the public, and held the Seonyudo Park Project Design Competition. The Association of Citizens Who Love the Hangang River participated as judges in order to include the public’s wishes and opinions for the park.


The winning design transformed the old purification plant into an area where people can experience the importance of water and the ecosystem and also enjoy nature, while preserving the old water purification plant without erasing its memories and the role it played. As planned, Seonyudo Island became an eco-friendly park and was opened to the public as Seonyudo Park in April of 2002. Several fossil-like facilities of the plant, such as the moss-covered concrete walls, rusted pipes and traces of water, were removed and replaced with nature to highlight its new functions. 

“Several fossil-like facilities of the plant, such as the moss-covered concrete walls, rusted pipes and traces of water, were removed and replaced with nature to highlight its new functions.”

The best way to go into Seonyudo Park, often referred to as the “island on the Hangang River,” is through the Seonyugyo Bridge, which was especially made for the Park. This arched bridge was built in 2000 by the Seoul Metropolitan Government and France as a commemorative project to mark the new millennium. Although the sleekly designed bridge is beautiful on its own, the view of Seonyudo Park and the Hangang River seen from it is even more magnificent. The bridge takes you right to the Seonyudo Observatory, which is a wooden deck approximately 10 m above ground. The deck offers exceptional views of the skyscrapers of Mapo, Bukhansan Mountain and Haneul Park. The place where the old plant was best preserved is the Garden of Transition. It was the first sedimentation tank where chemicals were mixed with water that flowed in from the Hangang River to settle impurities.

Today, it has been transformed into a beautiful garden with eight different themes. Traces of time and water splashing can still be seen on the concrete walls and the columns create a unique background for the various plants in the garden. The second sedimentation tank where water that passed through the first sedimentation tank was treated once again, was transformed into the Water Purification Basin.

Here visitors can see various aquatic plants that purify pollutants in the water and think about the natural purification abilities of the ecosystem.

The sand filtration basin, where water that passed through the first and second sedimentation tanks was filtered, was changed into the Aquatic Botanical Garden featuring the growth process of different types of aquatic plants. The clean water reservoir, the final step where water passed through filtration basin was cleaned and disinfected, was reborn as the Garden of Green Columns. As the name suggests, some 30 green columns are lined up.

The concrete columns, which used to hold up the roof of the water purification building, have stood here since the opening of the park. As time passed, ivy grew on the columns and eventually covered up the columns completely.

Seonyubong Peak was once part of the beautiful scenery of the Hangang River, it was replaced with a huge industrial facility that supplied water for the city. However, it eventually lost its function and purpose, but it was rejuvenated into another beautiful scenery of the Hangang River. Through an urban renewal project, an abandoned water purification plant was revived to provide stunning views of Seoul and also serve as a resting area for locals.

TIP: Every year in October when the sun goes down, crowds of people gather at the Yeouido Hangang Park to enjoy the dazzling fireworks show.

Address 343 Seonyu-ro, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul

Tel 02-2631-9368

15-minute walk from Exit 2 of Seonyudo Station, Seoul Subway Line 9

Nearby tourist attractions

Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market

 63 Art



Hangang Ara Cruise


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