Jo Jun 3, 2024

From ancient times, Korean people have made active use of hot spring water, a natural resource especially good for medical treatment and longevity.

The old books like “Chronicles of the Feudal Joson Dynasty” give a good deal of records that the ancestors learnt about the medicinal effects of hot spring water and used it for treatment. The visual evidence of the records is the Kalsan Hot Spring Relic discovered near the Kalsan Hot Spring Sanatorium in Kudang-ri, Phangyo County, Kangwon Province.

Kalsan Hot Spring is a simple radon spring. It has been widely known as an excellent remedy for several illnesses such as dermatosis, neuralgia, chronic gastritis, arthritis, etc. from long ago.

The Kalsan Hot Spring Relic, the indoor bath house relic, consists of the building site and four water tanks in it.

On the building site are still found some properly-faced granite cornerstones and platforms and there are two water tanks in the east and west each symmetrically.

The tanks are connected to the long granite water channel with a semicircular hollow for a supply of hot spring water.

The whole floor except the parts with the tanks is covered with granite slabs.

The hot spring, which is some distance from the bath house site, is located higher than the relic, so spring water is allowed to flow down to the tanks on its own.

According to “Chronicles of the Feudal Joson Dynasty”, it is estimated that the bath house was built by the order of King Sejong, the fourth king of the feudal Joson dynasty.

Some historical records say that King Sejong saw to it that a hot spring bath house and a temporary palace were built and he personally visited it to have a hot spring cure.

Tens of meters north-east away from this relic is still found the site of the temporary palace.

All those historical records may be regarded as the evidence to prove that the Kalsan Hot Spring Relic has a long history of over 570 years.