War Memorial


Member Rating 3 out of 5 by John Lamb on October 24, 2001

Built in 1994, this museum offers information on the many wars Korea has been involved in. To get there, take line 4 to Samgakji Station. The entrance fee is 3,000 won.

The structure is an impressive gray concrete building with hundereds of steps leading to the entrance. In front is a giant statue of two brothers hugging who were on opposite sides during the Korean War. Also outside is an impressive array of military planes, vehicles and weaponary. Even the helicopters from M.A.S.H. are represented.

The two outer walls flanking the main building list the thousands of soldiers who died in Korea's recent conflicts, including the Vietnam War. After entering the museum we were were lead directly to the Korean War Memorial. It is dark and somber with a black marble fountain in the middle. The most powerful part to me was the single beacon of light that entered from the ceiling and shot down into the middle of the fountain.

The museums houses thousands of pieces of military history. Because of Korea's location it has been the victim of many wars. Japan and China use Korea as the crossing ground for its conflicts. The bottom floor houses military history all the way to the end of the Japanese occupation. It also has a full-scale model of a turtle ship from the late 1500's, stock full of spikes to ram invading Japanese ships.

The upper floor displays exhibits the Korean War often presented in diorama format. It is an extensive exhibition and will answer any questions you might have had about the "Forgotten War." I was moved by the entrance which is a circle of war footage playing non-stop. There is no music and no voice-over; just the sounds and sight of the destruction of war.

The last floor details the Korean Military's strength as of today as well as chronicles its participation in the Vietnam War.

All together, the museum is very moving at times, and very informative and extensive.

War Memorial of Korea
8 Yeongsan-dong 1-ga
Seoul, South Korea, 140-021
+82 (2) 709 3114

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