Saturday, 28 February 2015

Seodaemun Prison History Museum (서대문형무소역사관)

Came back from Suwon, we directly took Seoul Subway Line 3 to Dongnimmun Station. (Vera Lee)
Seodaemun Independence Park is outside Dongnimmun Station. (Vera Lee)
Then we followed the crowd to Seodaemun Prison History Hall. (Vera Lee)
 I got this Korean Flag Taedukgi from Suwon Hwaseong Museum. (Vera Lee)
Seodaemun prison was built in 1908, is a symbol of Japanese cruelty and oppression
 during their colonial rule of Korea from 1910 until 1945. (Vera Lee)
 In 1992, the site was dedicated as the Seodaemun Prison History Hall, 
part of Independence Park. Seven of the prison complex's original 
 fifteen buildings are preserved as historical monuments. (Vera Lee)
 Seodaemun Prison History Hall was built in remembrance of Seodaemun Prison, 
and to salute the Korean patriots. 

The main hall has three floors of exhibitions:
~ 1st floor - “A Place of Reverence,” 
   you can learn about Seodaemun Prison via the graphic systems. (Vera Lee)
Video footage about Seodaemun and the transition periods in its history. 

~ 2nd floor - “A Place of History,” 
   to view the “National Resistance Room,” “Prison History Room” and the “In Prison Life Room.” 
   This floor shows examples how the people fought through this dark chapter in history continuing 
   to hold on to their hope and resolve for freedom. 
~ 3rd floor - “A Place of Experience” 
   the most horrifying and dreadful place in the prison. In the “Temporary Detention Room” and 
   “Torture Room” you will see recreated torture scenes that are frighteningly realistic. (Vera Lee) 
Me inside one of the empty cells.

Visitors can look around and go inside the original prison cell blocks where the independence fighters were held. Built to house 500 prisoners, up to 3500 were packed inside during the height of the anti-Japanese protests in 1919. (source)

The place was crowded that we need to queue to go in
 and couldn't stop to long in order for people to walk. (Vera Lee)
Therefore, we didn't take a lot of photos. It's also sad and disturbing 
to see re-creations of bloody mannequins and brutal torture scenes. (Vera Lee)
One of the martyrs on memorial board inside the prison wall. (Vera Lee)
 Stopped by here to offer flower and pay respect to all the patriots.
We didn't enter to another building because of the long queue. (Vera Lee)
People can write a note or wish on white paper and hang it on these ropes. (Vera Lee)
Gyeokbyeokjang - some sort of Exercise Facilities with several partition walls 
to prevent prisoners having conversations with each others. It's built in 1920
and dismantled after liberation and restored to its original shape in 2011. (Vera Lee)
 The Square Pond - originally inside a lacquer ware factory where prisoners worked here
 during Japanese colonial. After liberation, the pond was used for laundry. (Vera Lee)
Do you know what are those holes for?

They're Excrement holes in Solitary Confinement. These hole were at the corner of the floor where urine and stool were discharged. A drainage outlet of feces still remains at the outer side of jails. (Vera Lee)
Two jumbo size Taegukgi were hanging on the prison walls. (Vera Lee)
 There were some performances by children at
Seodaemun courtyard.

We also saw a lot of adults in their hanboks taking group photos... I guess after their performance? There were stalls selling foods, there were some free and paid activities for children on March 1st Movement (Samil / Manse) Day. (Vera Lee)
251, Tongil-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, Korea
서울특별시 서대문구 통일로 251 (현저동)

Though we didn't see foreigner here, but I recommend it as it's a meaningful and educational place to learn history of Korea during Japanese occupation. (Vera Lee)
 Sorry I've to stop here and continue Dongnimmun
Independence Gate few days later as my eyes
already in sleep mood and will auto shut down soon.

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