|Location||Bongmyeong-dong, Gung-dong, Yuseong-gu|
|Distance/time||4.0km / 1 hour|
|Course||Yuseong Hot Spring’s Foot Spa → Gungdonghagyo → Jangdae 2 gyo → Gungdonggyo|
|Transportation||City bus (Foot Spa) : 101, 102, 105, 106, 113, 114, 115, 119, 121, 704, 706
Village bus (Foot Spa) : No. 5, No. 1
City bus (Gungdonggyo) : 704, 911
Village bus (Gungdonggyo) : No. 1, No. 3
|Point of departure / Point of arrival||Foot Spa / Gungdonggyo|
Yuseong Hot Spring is a trail where you can think about fulfilling filial piety as there is a story about a mother who was searching for medicine for her ill son when she suddenly saw a crane healing a sickness with the hot spring water.
After discovering the efficacy of Yuseong Hot Spring, she was able to cure her son’s illness.
This urban trail starts from Yuseong Hot Spring Foot Spa which is visited by many tourists as it is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, goes through Banseokcheon Stream and ends in Gungdonggyo Bridge, connecting the well maintained Banseokcheon Stream with asphalt road.
Long ago, during the Baekjae Period when the leaders loved culture and wanted the citizens to live comfortably, dark clouds started spiraling with the reign of King Euija. Soldiers frequently left the castle so military discipline fell apart.
Silla armed forces took advantage of this situation and increased the number of invasions into the land of Baekjae, so all the young men in Baekjae had to be recruited to the army.
To one mother living in Yuseong, her son was the only reason for living, but when the son was summoned by the army, she was filled with anxiety.
As the son was helping her make ends meet, his conscription was devastating news and his mother appealed here and there, claiming that it was unfair to summon her only son even if the war was a difficult one. It was no use.
Finally, the son was taken away to the army. Because he felt that he would never be able to see his mother again if he left now, he put all his hard-earned money by his mother’s beside and left the house early in the morning.
When the mother woke up and realized that her son had left, she spent every single day in agony.
She placed water in front of an old tree, praying for her son’s safe return, and the son fought bravely in the war that was becoming intense.
As he was fighting with the enemy that was rushing in again and again, he was hit by an arrow one day. He collapsed and after a long time, he heard the footsteps of the Silla armed forces. Eventually, the castle was seized by these forces. He was on the ground, unable to move because of the arrow, and in the end he was taken by the Silla armed forces as a prisoner. He ended up in a castle site and was forced into labor. He was treated poorly, like an animal, and beaten as he carried stones and built the castle.
When the war was over and the son didn’t return, his mother always left the twig gate open and looked out helplessly, and then she fell sick.
One day, when his mother dreamt that her son was crawling on the field in front of the village, she immediately got up and looked out the twig gate. There, she saw a person collapse in front of her eyes and crawl towards her. She ran out bare-footed and it turned out that it was her son. She ran towards him, calling out his name. He was badly injured and she soon learnt that he had been beaten and forced to build the castle for the Silla armed forces and that he ran away to save his life.
Thinking that she had to save her son, she left the house early in the morning, seeking medicine.
When she passed by her house and was walking by the paddy field, she saw an injured crane fall from the sky, crying in pain. She thought it was strange, and when she went by its side, there was hot water coming out from the place where the crane had fallen. As she looked at the crane, rubbing its body in hot water, she thought of her son. The crane dipped one side of its wing in the hot water, fluttered its wings, and then flew up into the sky.
She hurried towards her house, carried a pail, filled it with the hot water and used it to bathe her son.
When her son’s scars were washed with warm water, he just laid there, with his eyes closed. After a few days, strangely, scabs formed over the scars and then, the scabs started to fall off and her son got up as if nothing had ever happened. After that day, his mother built a mud hut over the place where hot water was coming out.
She let people suffering from various illnesses take baths, and as there were many people who were cured after bathing with this water, Yuseong became famous as a place with hot water and was visited by people from all over the country.
A long time ago, a classical scholar was on his way to Hanyang to take Gwageo (highest-level state examination) and as he was rushing, he brushed past a poison oak and was poisoned. He went to Yuseong Hot Spring and took a bath with clean water which completely cured his poisoned skin. So, he made it to Hanyang, took the examination and passed it.
He was grateful, so on his way back, he planted a hackberry near the spring which eventually grew like a gazebo, and the spring was known as a “poison ivy spring” for curing poison ivy.