Unjoru House
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  • Address: 103, Omi-ri, Toji-myeon, Gurye-gun, Jeollanam-do
  • Tel: +82-61-781-2644
  • Operation Hours: 10:00-17:00
  • Admission Fees: Adult: KRW 1,000 / Student: KRW 700 / Child: KRW 0
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  • Introduction
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The word ‘Unjoru’ is believed to be from the heading of the prose poem ‘Returning to My Old Home’ by Tao Yuanming. It was built when the district of Nagan was governed by Yu I-ju under the reign of King Yeongjo during the Joseon Dynasty. According to a writing over the hall in front of the main bedroom, the building was built in 1776 (the 52nd year of King Yeongjo’s reign).

It makes it one of the few noble houses of the late Joseon Period still remaining today. The site is still preserved with the servants’ quarters, ㅜ-shaped outer quarters, and ㄷ-shaped inner quarters, as well as a household shrine and pavilion beside to a lotus pond. According to Jangja gucheog' written by Yu I-ju twelve years after the construction of the mansion, it originally measured 78 kan (the unit of distance between two columns) when it was first built. Some of the buildings had to be restored or even expanded after being damaged by fire and worn by time. According to an official survey conducted by the Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea in 2007, the sections still preserved today measures 63 kan.

Some of its architectural features include the purlins stretching under and across the principal rafters between wooden columns, all of which are square beams. The outer quarters and inner quarters share the same gable roof.

‘Unjoru’ is the name given to the house, as it was a customary practice to name a noble house in the past. But the name originally belonged to the main bedroom. The word literally means "The house to live in hiding like a bird behind the clouds.” Both Unjoru and Omi-dong are well-known as two of the most auspicious house sites. But it’s also generally agreed that a windfall of good fortune doesn’t last long, and everyone needs to work hard to maintain good luck. So in a practical sense, an auspicious site simply means a peaceful place to live.

Unjoru is also famous for its rice chest. Some Chinese characters are inscribed on the rice chest in the kitchen, and it simply means "anyone can open it." It’s inscribed there to tell the local people that they’re welcome to open the chest and take some grains if they're out of food. So in addition to being a great piece of architecture, Unjoru is an important historical landmark that shows how people used to take care of each other in the olden days.

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