How does it feel to be in the middle of a war? You have to visit one of the most impressive war museums in the world to experience it. Located in the heart of Seoul, the War Memorial of Korea houses photos, maps, artifacts, weaponry, and films that offer a fascinating insight into what the Korean War was like. Compelling history, military prowess, and the resilience of the soldiers – this monumental memorial preserves every details of this memorable episode in Korean history.
The War Memorial is primarily dedicated to the Korean War that took place from 1950 to 1953. It was built over the land where the headquarters of the Korean infantry existed. It was inaugurated in 1994.
What to do in War Memorial ?
The eight on-site exhibits are the soul of the Memorial and reflect the very purpose of its creation. The War History Exhibit, Hogukchumo Exhibit, Large Equipment Exhibit, and Military Development Exhibit, and among the most visited ones. All sorts of military hardware and weapons are spread out before the public, both at indoor and outdoor exhibition halls. The planes, missiles, helicopters, and tanks offer a gripping insight into the war.
Make it a point to watch the Honor Guard Ceremony at the memorial. The ceremony features three prime attractions – a joint honor guard demonstration, a female honor guard demonstration, and a traditional swordsmanship demonstration performed collectively by the South Korean armed forces. It is held every Friday between 2-3 pm from April to June 22 and then from the third week of October to November.
The instances of scathing military attacks inflicted upon South Korea in 1950 are documented inside the building. A surprise attack before the sunrise from North Korea, the daring aquatic landing at Incheon, the unexpected attack from China, and the military build-up of US forces in Busan are demonstrated through various weapons, relics, wall paintings, and pictures.
Tales of fiercely gruesome battles involving South Korea are also quite elegantly woven and told to visitors through documentary films, pictures, paintings, first-hand account of the survivors, and war remains.
Since you are in the capital city of South Korea, you can visit some of the famous tourist destinations. Apart from the War Memorial of Korea, Seoul is home to various other sites such as National Museum of Korea, N Seoul Tower, National Folk Museum of Korea, Olympic Park, Gyeongbokgung Palace, and Myeongdong shopping district.
Where is The War Memorial of Korea?
The Memorial is situated in the Yongsan District of Seoul, South Korea.
How to Reach?
By Air – The Incheon International Airport in Seoul is 48 km from the War Memorial of Korea. It takes close to an hour’s drive to get to the Memorial from the airport.
By Train – The Seoul Subway train service is the best option to get to the Memorial if you plan to travel by train. The Samgakji subway station is just next to this war museum.
By Road – A number of bus routes connecting the War Memorial and various parts of Seoul are operational. You can take a cab from any part of Seoul and reach the site within an hour.
Best Time to Visit The War Memorial of Korea
Weather is pleasant in Seoul throughout the year, however, the conditions remain more conducive for traveling from March to October. It is advisable to visit The War Memorial of Korea from April to June and October to November, when the Honor Guard Ceremony is performed.
Things to Remember
The Memorial remains open from 9 am to 6 pm (entry closes at 5 pm). It remains closed on Mondays, and if Monday is a public holiday then the site is closed the next day as well.
Entry to the Memorial is free.
Facts about The War Memorial of Korea
- The War Memorial of Korea is the largest of its kind on the planet.
- Around 17,800 artifacts and files of war are preserved in the storage room of the Memorial.
- Large military equipment and symbols (around 110 pieces) like the Statue of Brethren, Statue of King Gwanggaeto, and Korean War sculptures are also on display.
The Ramada Hotel and Suites, Lotte Hotel, The Westin Chosun, Hotel PJ, Loisir Hotel Seoul Myeongdong, and Sejong Hotel are preferred options for high-end travelers. If you are looking for budget accommodations, then the Urban Wood Guest House, Doo Guesthouse, Hostel Korea, Junibin Boutique Hotel, and Nyx Hotel serve the purpose.
Jeon, Yukhoe & Gimbap Alley, Sindang-dong Tteokbokki Alley, and Gulchi Jorim Alley & Kalguksu Alley, are some of the food joints offering finest local and continental cuisines near the Memorial.
Jangchung-dong’s Jokbal Alley and Sinsa-dong’s Ganjang Gejang Alley should also be on your list of best places to dine.
Image Credit: d.FUKA
AS20151010Published On: Tuesday, September 1st, 2015