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Seodaemun Prison

Seodaemun Prison History Museum, Seoul

My dream is to go to Auschwitz, literally. There are some travellers who dream of going to Bora Bora and swim in crystal clear waters; I want to go to Auschwitz. I have wanted to go since I was a teenager, only I was less vocal about it then because I wanted to have friends. Didn’t really want to be THAT creepy girl – but she’s still alive and well. There is nothing that can leave me utterly obsessed like history and learning from it. An entire weekend will fly by in a sea of documentaries and articles based on a topic. It becomes my obsession and if there are any historians around – can we get married?

My love of History and Travel

I remember walking into both the Anne Frank Museum and the Rwanda Genocide Museum more than I can remember the Amsterdam canals and the Rwandan tea fields. To travel means to discover and that means more history than landscapes, for me at least. Since arriving in Korea, I haven’t experienced as much history as I wanted to. However, travelling through the ancient town of Gyeongju over my last break reignited my love for history so I decided to take a solo trip to a former prison here in Seoul.

Seodaemun Prison was operational from 1908 until 1987. It was originally opened by the Japanese to imprison Korea liberation activists. People were tortured and killed within its walls and the conditions were brutal. The interrogation was front and centre to try to obliterate any form of uprising among the Korean people. The museum and grounds are immaculate; there’s a warm respect in how the story is told and it’s done so with great care.

Basic Information about Seodaemun Prison:

Nearest Station: Dongnimunn (Exit 5)

Cost per adult: 3000 won

Approx time: 1-2 hours

They give you an English pamphlet on arrival and I would recommend following the signs and seeing it as they’ve planned it for visitors.

Seodaemun Prison History Museum

Seodaemun Prison

The view from the Women’s Prison Cells. I’ve always been fascinated by what prisoners would’ve seen from their windows.

Seodaemun Prison

Execution Building – you can see the ‘judgement table’ and the place they were executed. You are not allowed to take photos or enter as it is an official Historical Site. There is such silence. I can’t explain it.

Seodaemun PrisonSeodaemun PrisonSeodaemun Prison

Seodaemun Prison

Prison Building No.12

Seodaemun Prison

Inside a cell in Prison Building No. 12

Seodaemun Prison

Inside Prison Building No.11

Seodaemun Prison

My Favourite part of Seodaemun Prison

I was very happy to see how the Women’s Prison Cells were represented. So much pride and a large amount of information on the important women who suffered there during their fight for independence. Just as much care as the male activists.

Seodaemun Prison

Such a wonderful art piece remembering the brave women who fought for Korea’s Independence.

I hope you guys enjoyed this gallery type post as I’ll be doing more of them in the future. Excited to explore and learn more about Korea’s history. If you have any recommendations, please pop them into the comments below or message me on Instagram. 

Once again, any historians – call me.

Love from,

Lamb xx

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