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 The Paekche Festival

 - year 2000 -




 The Paekche culture flourished on the western part of Korea until year 660,- when the Paekche kingdom finally fell, due to war actions by it's combined enemies!  During it's time,- The Paekche culture turned out incredible beautiful art objects and a lot of the artifacts from that time are still preserved in the excellent National Museums in Puyo and Kongju.

Paekche also exported Korean culture and introduced Buddhism to Japan.
Kongju was the second of Paekche's capitals, and up to this day the local people in Kongju arrange a special annual festival, to commemorate the special culture that had it's center in their city for about 1500 years ago - -
So they dress up like for 1500 years ago, and the old fortress wall are manned with the Paekche warriors,- flags and banners fly in the air - -

I  happened to be in Kongju in October 2000, when the event took place, and with my cameras in top shape, I spent four wonderful days in Kongju where I watched the show - - - -
I were the only foreigner there, so of course I got special treatment, and part of the result of that  you can see in the following pages.

Please take a trip 1500 years back in time, and have a look at the old Paekche fortress in Kongju, where also the royal palace was situated - -
 
 


The Kongsansong fortress gate
- as it normally appears, - peaceful in the morning light -
Little did I know, that the next day these old walls would be manned by Paekche warriors and colorful banners.
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


The Kongsansong fortress
- the main gate -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 


A ghost from the past -
- suddenly an ancient warrior, - an officer -, appears on the fortress wall,  - and we are 1500 years back in time -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 


Guards at the main gate
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


A Paekche army camp
- soldiers prepare for changing guard -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 


The Paekche army
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 


The last briefing -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


The Paekche army soldiers prepare for "changing of the guard" -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 


The relieving soldiers on their way from their camp - - -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Entering the wall
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


The guards on the fortress wall waiting for relief -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


The changing of the guard ceremony takes place
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 


The relived soldiers return to their camp -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


The commanding officer inspects the new guard
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 


The guards in position
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 


Another look up the old fortress wall -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 


  The main gate of the old Paekche fortress Kongsansong
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


The King and Queen of Paekche arrives -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


- while young spectators look -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


- and a soldier of the Paekche army keeps watch on the wall of Kongsansong fortress wall -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 

    Click here  for the  Paekche Festival - part two -
 

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  Updated:  November 4. 2000
                June 29th. 2003
                Aug.08.2007
                Aug.09.2007