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The Namdaemun burns

Perhaps off-topic for this blog, but of great importance for historians: the Namdaemun, the ancient gate to the city of Seoul, has burned.

I saw this gate on my trip to South Korea; we went to the traditional market (open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year) near it, the Namdaemun Market.

As much as I love books and texts, there’s nothing quite as powerful as seeing and touching the past. Namdaemun, Hadrian’s Wall, the bits of Roman pavement in London…standing there, looking at them, touching them, is as close to time travel as we’re ever likely to get. I’m fortunate to have had that experience.


(France)


(Great Britain)


(South Korea)

This is a sad day.