While moments spent at Yeongdo Bridge no longer remain, there are still people who tear up just by thinking about the old days.
This space was where people separated from their families during the war swore to survive and meet at Yeongdo Bridge.
Written as Yeongdodaegyo Bridge and read as Yeongdo Bridge.
The Yeongdodaegyo Bridge, connecting Jung-gu and Yeongdo-gu, was built during the Japanese colonial period. The Japanese built a bridge to connect Busanhang Port, the base for exploiting supplies, with Yeongdo Island right next to it. In 1934, on the day the first suspension bridge and bascule bridge in Busan was opened to the public, Yeongdodaegyo Bridge was packed with people from all over the country to take a look at the bridge. Yeongdodaegyo Bridge, which could be raised on one end of the upper deck, is called Yeongdo Bridge and soon became a landmark that has turned into a household name.
Yeongdodaegyo Bridge is a place where refugees in Busan congregated to in the midst of the Korean War to find some hope. Yeongdo Bridge, the landmark of Busan and the only place that refugees knew, became a union spot for people who were separated. People’s desperate wish to find separated families was engraved on faded paper and torn cloth to fill up the handrails of Yeongdo Bridge. Yeongdodaegyo Bridge provided some with the joy of reunion and others with blood-stained resentment. The refugees probably visited fortune-tellers to find some consolation regarding the survival of their families. Now gone, the Jeombachi Alley under the Yeongdodaegyo Bridge used to be the place where the hopes and desperations of refugees piled up.
In 1966, when the wounds of the war began to heal, Yeongdodaegyo Bridge stopped lifting up the deck. The old bridge could no longer endure the increasing traffic, and the opening of the Busandaegyo Bridge right next to the bridge made the future of the bridge uncertain. However, the bridge was restored in 47 years, and its lifting resumed through the peoples’ efforts to remember and share the history of the Yeongdo Bridge.
This place, where refugees used to visit to find their separated families, is now a popular tourist attraction. At around 2:00 p.m., the signal is made, and the blocking curtain goes down. All the passing vehicles stop, and the Yeongdo Bridge goes up slowly. The lifting of the bridge event conducted for 15 min feels like a holy ritual as if asking to remember the Yeongdo Bridge of the past that embraced the pains of the refugees.
As if never opened before, the bridge returns to its original shape and traffic resumes. While walking on Yeongdodaegyo Bridge, people can’t help but notice its handrail. The people who used to wander about the bridge in search of loved ones are gone, and only the waves move about the indifferent ocean.
Travelers cross the Yeongdo Bridge, which retains the joy of union and the pains of separation, and move on to Taejongdae Park and Huinnyeoul Village.
The Yeongdodaegyo Bridge lifting ceremony is conducted for 15 min starting at 14:00.