The Seodaemun Prison (서대문 형무소) is worth visiting to get a better understanding of Korean history and the difficulties the Koreans faced under Japanese conquest and occupation from 1905 through the end of WWII. Many of the original buildings remain to tell this sad chapter of Korean history, including the execution chamber and tunnel where the bodies of executed Korean anti-colonial activists were taken for burial.
The prison was closed in 1987, and the park opened five years later in 1992, maintaining seven of the original 15 buildings.
Just outside of the prison area is Seodaemun Independence Park, dedicated to the memory of those who died for Korean freedom and independence.
Just down the street from the prison is Dongnimmun, Seoul's Independence Gate.
Admission is about 1,500 Won.
Even before Japan's annexation of Korea in 1910, Korean opposition forces' increasing resistance gave the Japanese government incentives to build a prison that could house those Koreans who opposed their colonization of Korea. Designed by a Japanese architect, Seodaemun Prison was built in Seoul to accommodate a total of 500 inmates, which was large considering that all other prisons in Korea could hold only 300 inmates in total.
The Prison first opened on October 21, 1908 and, undergoing numerous name changes, continued to serve as a prison under the Korean government until 1987 when prison facilities moved to Uiwang-city, Kyonggi Province.
The government began a project in 1995 to honor those Koreans who sacrificed their lives in resisting the Japanese and were imprisoned and tortured at Seodaemun Prison.
The prison is now operated as a teaching museum, to serve as an educational site for future generations of Koreans.
This stone gate was built in 1898 by the Independence Club. the gate made of granite, 14,38 meters high and 11,48 meters wide. it was designed pattern of Arc de Triomphe de l toile by a Swiss engineer who worked for the German Minister in Korea. stand at the Independence Park, and nearby the Seodaemun Prison Hall.
The prison museam is worth the visit. You get a true sense of the horror inflicated on the Koreans during the Japanese occupation. It only costs W1100 and is worth it. You get to see the tortures inflicted as well as the process used to prosecute and execute the inmates. The mechanised dummies and the back track adds to the atmosphere. Don't forget to visit the top floor of the main building. You should also try the execution chair in the courtroom.
It is one of my fav in this city. It shows a side of Korean people's patriotic side and the struggle against imperial Japanese agressors. For more than 30 years before the end of WWII, Korea was annexed and governed by Japan. The prison was in existence to jail dissidents and other infamous personnels. It has a very well laid plan, self guided with lots of recreation of equipment and explanation. The most errie was the execution chamber, and the nearby secret tunnel. It reminds us of how precious our freedom is, and how brave men and women were willing to sacrifice to win liberty.
Entrance: 1500 w.
Open hrs: 930 to 17 or 1800. Close Mondays.
Take subway to Dongnimmun, exit 5, entrance is uphill about 100 ft, a small path abeam the station exit will lead you up there.
This place was built in 1908, name by Gyeonseong Gamok ( Traditional name of Seoul Prison ). In this prison, which used to be the most representative, notorious place during the Japanese invasion. this place are many Korean peoples died and pain, during the at that time.
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