Seodaemun Prison History Hall

A friend of mine from UChicago suggested that I visit Seodaemun Prison and History Hall at some point during my time in Seoul.  He said it was an interesting place, though a bit depressing.  During the Japanese occupation, Seodaemun Prison housed many independence activists, many of whom suffered through torture and some of whom were executed.  As part of what is now Seodaemun Independence Park, many of the prison’s original buildings were preserved and are now historical monuments.

A couple of Sundays ago, I went to check out the museum and former prison grounds with my friend Will (the same friend I went to Busan and Geoje with).  It took us about 15 minutes by bus, and the entrance fee was only 1,500 won — a good start to our visit.

We started out in the museum, which covers the history of the prison itself as well as some background on the Korean resistance movement.

A model of the original prison grounds.

Entrance to National Resistance Hall I

Photos of former prisoners cover the walls in this exhibit room. The prison could hold around 500 people in total.

A torture device….with Will inside.

Reminded me of the Chicago Clean Power Ordinance victory t-shirts…which made me smile :)

After touring the entire museum, we walked through the former jail cells and explored the grounds…

Yes, that would be a mannequin of a prison guard.

“Emergency” signal for prisoners

A tunnel that goes…somewhere

Overall, it was a good visit.  We were there for about an hour and a half, and it was completely worth the 1,500 won we paid to get in.  I learned about the Korean independence movement, and enjoyed exploring outside of Sinchon.  It’s not a big tourist attraction, but I would recommend a visit if you’re looking for something educational and a little different.  Other independence-related monuments are located in the adjacent park as well.

Seodaemun Prison History Hall

120-080 (101, Hyeongeo-dong) Uijuro 247, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, Korea

Subway: Dongnimmun station, Exit 5 (Line 3/Orange line)

Admission: 1,500 (adult), 1,000 (child,


One comment

  1. Pingback: Student By Day, Tourist By Night (And Day) « tasty adventures

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