We spent a short while that late afternoon at Anapji Pond. Constructed by King Munmu in 674 as a pleasure garden to commemorate unification of the Korean peninsula under Silla rule, it currently has several large pavilions located next to the manmade pond. Inside the pavilions were displays of well-preserved relics found in the pond when it was drained for repair in 1975. Many of the relics date back to the year 935, when the original buildings burned. I found the small wooden tablets with writing on them (they wrote on the wood before paper was used here) fascinating by how it could have survived in water so long. My Korean friend explained to me what the sides of the multifaceted dice meant - definitely a drinking game tool. With the cold, whipping wind, we didn’t linger and after a walk around the organically winding pond with a small island in the middle, we proceeded onwards.
In our walk through Wolseong Park (once the site of Banwolseong, a fortress), we passed by the only intact building - Seokbinggo, nicknamed ‘The Stone Ice House.’ Dating back to the early 18th century, it was used as a giant refrigerator to store food. The dark stone interior, with its curved ceiling, reminded me of the similarly shaped cisterns in Tunisia.