Welcome to Seoul National Cemetery
The weather is getting better and I try to travel as much as it is possible. It is hard to travel overseas, but if be honest, there are so many places to visit in Korea too. And I don't think I will ever say that I visited all of them.
Today I will take you to the Seoul National Cemetery. You may say 'Uhhh...it is scary, it is creepy', but I am sure you will change your opinion after our online tour.
The cemetery is located in Seoul on Dongjak Station (Subway Line 4 and 9).
About Seoul National Cemetery
During the difficult time in the 1940-50s when wars took the lives of soldiers, there was a need for a cemetery. In the beginning, most soldiers were buried in the local areas where they served. But an increasing number of deaths made it necessary to install the cemetery.
During the search for the cemetery installation area, ten areas were explored in 7 rounds. And as a result, the current location of Dongjak-dong in Seoul was chosen. The cemetery site was confirmed and approved by President Syngman Rhee (이승만) on September 29, 1953. Syngman Rhee is the first Korean president.
The total area square of the Seoul National Cemetery is about 1.43 million m2.
Right after you enter the Cemetery you will see a wide area, a park zone. On the right side from the gates, you can find an information office. Actually, you can enter the cemetery from another entrance too. But I came to the main entrance.
Seoul National Cemetery is very well-organized. There is a special map also. So you can easily find the grave you are looking for. The area is split according to events in Korean history.
Here are graves of Korean veterans, people who died during the Korean War, the Korean Indepency Movement, and other sad events in Korean history. Also, Korean presidents were buried here too. You can see the tomb of Park Chung-hee president and his wife.
Here is the tomb of the first Korean presidents. I didn't understand was his wife Francesca was buried here too or not.
There is an area dedicated to foreigners who died during the war in Korea. I was surprised by the number of graves here. I didn't know that so many foreigners lived here at that time.
The Memorial Gates are made in pure Korean style. They were constructed in 1969. There is no wood, only concrete.
On both sides of the gates there 2 tigers who protect the spirits of the country who gave their noble lives for the country and people.
The gates lead to the Memorial tower.
The Memorial Tower
There is a 13-meter tower that has the shape of a cross. It means that it protects the four directions of east, west, south, and north while honoring the spirit of devotion and sacrifice of the spirits of the country and the patriots. The construction of the tower was completed in 1967.
I was surprised to see a time capsule here. It was laid last year on November 25 and they plan to open it on June 25th, 2050. The capsule was laid in honor of the 70th anniversary of the end of the Korean War.
There are a lot of other memorials and towers which are dedicated to different battles and wars in Korean history. And cemetery really will not leave anyone indifferent.
Today everyone can visit the Cemetery park. It is opened to the public and free of charge. Unfortunately, exhibition halls are closed due to reconstruction or maybe due to COVID-19.
The cemetery is like a huge park and many people come here with their families and take a rest. They have a picnic here, they play and just enjoy life. On one side, it may look strange, but on another side, people spend time with those who left their lives for our lives, freedom, peace. Some people say that the souls of those who were buried here don't feel lonely.
I usually don't like cemeteries, but here I really felt the peace.
Official website: https://www.snmb.mil.kr/mbshome/mbs/snmb/