I was wondering if I should check out the War Memorial of Korea in Yongsan-gu, Seoul even before I headed to Seoul because Aliza Sara, one of my blogger friend recommended it…and well, I decided to go for it in my last day there before I headed to Incheon
The War Memorial of Korea is the place to go to check out all those interesting exhibits and items which had been related to the Korean War. It serves as a national moral educational venue since being established to commemorate the noble sacrifice of patriotic martyrs by the War Memorial Service Korea Society on June 10, 1994. The museum houses approximately 33,000 artifacts with about 10,000 on display at indoor and outside exhibition halls and at first glance made my breath catch…
No one can miss the very huge and impressive statue of 2 brothers (one from the North, one from the South) meeting on the battlefield, a poignant and constant reminder that more than 10 million Korean families still separated by the Korean War
서울특별시 용산구 이태원로 29 (용산동1가)
The War Memorial of Korea is located just across the street from Korea’s Department of Defense, and is actually next to the U.S. Army’s Yongsan Garrison (I so did not know that.. LOL, until I did my research).
It is definitely very impressive with a granite facade and on the left side of the building, you will find what seems like a battalion of an assortment of vintage airplanes, helicopters and tanks from the Korean War to the present. There is even a vintage B-52, and an M-47 “Patton” tank from the U.S. Army and a K-1 “88” tank from the Korean Army, the silent sentinels of the Museum.
There is also a kids museum for the little ones….
There is also an Honour Guard Ceremony, which I sadly missed, so if you are there, be sure to check it out…
I could not help the feeling of regret and sadness that welled inside me while I was in the memorial hall, thinking of the many, many unknown patriots who were involved that gave their lives in the war…and now only their names are etched in memory… War is never nice and it is so sad that it is just so often fought because some leader of the country is greedy for more land or so on…
It is here in this huge museum where the history of the Korean War (1950–53) has been carefully documented with heaps of black-and-white documentary footage (with English subtitles) of the main battles and events. Along with photos, maps and artifacts, the films give a fascinating insight into what the war was like. It is pretty gruesome when the documentary footage ended and the lights came on and you find skulls, skeletons etc below where you are standing..
Exhibits cover the surprise 4am attack from the North (spearheaded by 240 Russian-made tanks), the build-up of UN (mainly US) forces in Busan, the daring amphibious landing at Incheon, the sweep north followed by the surprise Chinese attack – all of which took place in 1950.
Visitors can learn more about the background of the Korean War, the progression of the war and how a truce was eventually established at this place…. Exhibits also display ammunition used by hostile and friendly forces, information and artifacts from people displaced by the war, and information on major battles.
On the 1st floor are paintings and displays illustrating many fierce battles fought against invading Mongol, Japanese and Chinese armies. Many items are only vaguely dated, but there is a replica of one of Admiral Sun-sin’s famous iron-clad turtle warships (called geobukseon ), which he used to defeat the Japanese navy in the 1590s.
The place features a war history from prehistoric era to the Japanese colonial period, which is of course, my favorite.., I am just so fascinated by all those Dynasties… Silla, Goryo, Joseon and so on…. Military remains, relics, and documents are on display as well. Among them are war & victory records, ammunition, the Turtle Ship (and other military vessels from the Joseon Dynasty), fortress models, and more
On the 3rd floor is the Combat Experience Room ….
Other displays cover Korea’s involvement in the Vietnam War (4700 Koreans died), North Korean attacks on the South since 1953, and Korea’s UN peacekeeping roles during the Vietnam War, the tactics of the Viet Cong, The Gulf War, PKO dispatch to Somalia, and more