War Memorial of Korea. Museum in Seoul, South Korea

War Memorial of Korea

Museum in Seoul, South Korea

War Memorial of Korea Photo © civ33

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War Memorial of Korea

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Statues of soldiers beside the Korean
	War Monument - War Memorial of Korea
Statues of soldiers beside the Korean War Monument - War Memorial of Korea. Photo by Awaken Dreamer
The War Memorial of Korea is a massive complex of indoor and outdoor exhibition areas with thousands of objects, photos, and equipment on display. While the museum provides historical perspectives of various wars that beset the country for the past 5000 years, it pays particular homage to the Korean War (Wikipedia Article) that lasted from June 25, 1950 to July 27, 1953.

The museum is located in Yongsan District (Wikipedia
	Article), Seoul. It is near the National Museum of Korea and the United States Army Yongsan Garrison (Wikipedia
	Article). It would take over two hours to explore the entire facility including the monuments and exhibits outdoors.

History

For 5000 years, Korea has been through many invasions and wars. And while the Korean War ended in 1953, a peace treaty remains elusive between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) and the Republic of Korea (South Korea). The Korean peninsula remains divided to this day with military forces from both countries remaining on high alert within their respective boundaries along the Korean Demilitarized Zone.

The War Memorial of Korea commemorates the wars Korea has endured, especially the Korean War, which claimed thousands of lives. It provides a perspective of how these wars influenced the shaping of present-day South Korea. Established in December 1993, the memorial was formally opened on June 10, 1994.

Things to See: Collections, Exhibition Halls, and Monuments

The War Memorial of Korea has a collection of thousands of artifacts, military equipment, memorabilia, and multi-media objects featured in its seven indoor exhibition halls. An outdoor exhibit area also displays aircrafts, boats, missiles, tanks, and other weaponries used during the Korean War.

The Korean War Monument

This monument is one of the prominent landmarks of the museum. It is flanked at both sides by statues of soldiers that seem to depict a scene from the war. It stands across the main exhibition building with the Peace Plaza between them.

Outdoor Exhibition Area

The Outdoor Exhibition Area has a wide array of armored vehicles, artillery, warships and vessels, and planes among other military equipment. It is an open space dotted with camouflage painted tanks and other weapons of war. The N Seoul Tower which can be seen from a distance serves as a backdrop. Many visitors choose to explore this area first before heading to the indoor exhibition halls. Here, they can learn more about the equipment and even experience sitting inside some of the armored tanks on display. Near this exhibit area is another landmark known as the Monument of King Gwanggaeto the Great.

Indoor Exhibition Rooms

Visitor entrance is at the second floor of the building that houses the indoor exhibition rooms. The Memorial Hall, the Korea War Rooms I and II, and the Defense and Large Industries Equipment Rooms respectively are also located at this floor. Each of these halls focuses on a specific theme that offers a glimpse of a war that occurred during a specific period. The industries equipment rooms exhibit South Korea’s defense capabilities by showcasing products made using local technology.

The War History Room at the first floor exhibits objects used during the different periods in Korea. Displays are categorized into the Prehistoric Age, Three Kingdoms Period, Koryeo, Chosun, Modern Foreign Countries, and Tae Han Empire.

The third floor is divided into exhibit spaces for the Korea War Room III, The Expeditionary Forces Room, and the ROK Armed Forces Room. It also has a cinema where visitors can watch a documentary film about the war. The Korea War Room III highlights the involvement of the United Nations (Wikipedia
	Article) (UN) and the participation of almost two million international forces from 21 member countries sent to Korea to help end the war.

The Statue of Brothers

This sculpture portrays two brothers meeting in a battlefield. One brother is fighting for the North while the other fights for South Korea. The statue shows the brothers embracing each other, which signifies hope for reconciliation between the divided nations. This monument stands on top of a dome that contains a mural and other items that feature South Korea’s allies during the Korean War.

Other monuments strewn around the huge expanse of the memorial include The Flying Wing and Peace Clock Tower.

Other Facilities

Apart from the main exhibition areas, there are other facilities that visitors can enjoy. There is a book café located at the right side of the entrance to the exhibition room. A snack shop near the bus parking lot sells beverages, fast food, and more. There are also vending machines not only at the indoor exhibition halls but also at the outdoor exhibition area. The war memorial also has a souvenir shop located at the west side of the complex.

Visitors can also enjoy the outdoor area by strolling around Ho-guk Park which is still part of the war memorial grounds. There are shaded picnic spaces located near each side of the main gate. There is also a Museum Wedding Hall located near the entrance and Museum Cafe.

Events

From April to June, there are performances scheduled every Friday and Saturday at 2:00PM and 3:00PM respectively at the Peace Plaza. Traditional martial arts and the marching of female honor guards are some of the main highlights of these events.

Visitor Information

Address: 8 Yongsan-dong, Yongsan-Gu, Seoul, South Korea

The War Memorial of Korea is open daily except on Mondays from 9:00AM to 6:00PM. The entrance closes at 5:00PM so make sure to arrive at least two to three hours before closing time. It is also closed on the day following a holiday that falls on a Monday. Admission is free. There are paid parking spaces available for those bringing their own vehicles to the area.

Getting There

The War Memorial of Korea is along the route of the Seoul City Tour Bus that starts and ends at Gwanghwamun. If traveling by public bus, get off at the stop in front of the Ministry of National Defense or at Samgakji. If taking the subway, get off at Samgakji Station and walk about five minutes to the site.

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Author: jyashiru. Last updated: Apr 20, 2015

Pictures of War Memorial of Korea

One of the performances at the Peace Plaza - War Memorial of Korea
One of the performances at the Peace Plaza - War Memorial of Korea. Photo by Morning Calm Weekly...

Outdoor Exhibition Area, The War Memorial of Korea (전쟁기념관) - War Memorial of Korea
Outdoor Exhibition Area, The War Memorial of Korea (전쟁기념관) - Photo by Vincent Lee

The Monument of KIA (Galleries) - War Memorial of Korea
The Monument of KIA (Galleries) - War Memorial of Korea. Photo by travel oriented

The War Memorial of Korea - War Memorial of Korea
The War Memorial of Korea - Photo by Kitty Schweizer

The Statue of Brothers - War Memorial of Korea
The Statue of Brothers - War Memorial of Korea. Photo by civ33

Honor Guard Ceremony and Museum Exhibits - Seoul, South Korea - Yongsan - USFK - War Memorial of Korea
Honor Guard Ceremony and Museum Exhibits - Seoul, South Korea - Yongsan - USFK - War Memorial of Korea. Photo by Expert Infantry

Outside the building that houses the indoor exhibition halls - War Memorial of Korea
Outside the building that houses the indoor exhibition halls - War Memorial of Korea. Photo by Republic of Korea

Replica of PKM-357 which was damaged in the Second Battle of Yeonpyeong - War Memorial of Korea
Replica of PKM-357 which was damaged in the Second Battle of Yeonpyeong - War Memorial of Korea. Photo by Republic of Korea

At the Peace Plaza - Honor Guard Ceremony and Museum Exhibits - Seoul, South Korea - Yongsan - USFK-32 - War Memorial of Korea
At the Peace Plaza - Honor Guard Ceremony and Museum Exhibits - Seoul, South Korea - Yongsan - USFK-32 - War Memorial of Korea. Photo by Expert Infantry

Outdoor Exhibition Area, The War Memorial of Korea - War Memorial of Korea
Outdoor Exhibition Area, The War Memorial of Korea -

Outdoor Exhibition Area - War Memorial of Korea
Outdoor Exhibition Area - War Memorial of Korea.

Turtle ship at the War Memorial of Korea - War Memorial of Korea
Turtle ship at the War Memorial of Korea -

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