OWL Magazine Korea

Seoul Gwanghwamun “National Museum of Korean History”

In the Gwanghwamun area of Seoul, various museums can be found. Towards the southeast of Gwanghwamun, you’ll discover the “National Museum of Korean History.”

The National Museum of Korean History is dedicated to unraveling the history of modern and contemporary Korea. While it touches on some aspects of earlier history, its primary focus is on modern and contemporary history.

“Preserving 100 Years of Modern Korean History”

The museum consists of four permanent exhibition halls and special exhibition halls. The permanent exhibition halls cover history from 1876 to the present day, encompassing the late 19th century to the most recent modern history.

  1. Exhibition Hall 1: Covers history between 1876 and 1948, showcasing the late 19th-century history.
  2. Exhibition Hall 2: Covers history between 1948 and 1961, illustrating post-liberation history in Korea.
  3. Exhibition Hall 3: Covers history between 1961 and 1987, focusing on efforts for high economic growth and democracy.
  4. Exhibition Hall 4: Covers history after 1987.

While the basic exhibitions mainly focus on modern Korean history, the permanent exhibition halls also host various thematic displays.

“Korea’s First Automobile, ‘Sibal Car'”

The National Museum of Korean History displays “Sibal Car,” Korea’s first automobile, and other historic vehicles like the “Pony,” the first car exported overseas.

Walking through the exhibits, visitors often feel transported back in time, gaining a sense of how much Korea has progressed since then.

“Video Artist Nam June Paik’s Works”

Towards the end of the permanent exhibition, works by the globally renowned video artist Nam June Paik are showcased. This section serves as a place where events significant to Korean history and related content are exhibited together.

“Enjoy the View of Gyeongbokgung Palace from the Rooftop Garden”

One of the highlights of the National Museum of Korean History is the rooftop garden. From here, you can have a panoramic view of Gyeongbokgung Palace. It’s especially beautiful during Wednesday or Saturday evenings when you can enjoy the night view.

On the day of the visit during the daytime, I encountered an artist drawing the scenery of Gyeongbokgung Palace with enthusiasm.

It’s a place where you can learn about modern Korean history and, as a bonus, appreciate the scenic beauty around Gwanghwamun. Moreover, it’s a free-entry museum, making it an accessible and delightful destination.

“Seoul Gwanghwamun, National Museum of Korean History”

  • Address: 198, Sejong-daero, Jongno-gu, Seoul
  • Phone: 02-3703-9200
  • Website: http://www.much.go.kr
  • Operating Hours: (Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri, Sun) 10:00 – 18:00 / (Wed, Sat) 10:00 – 21:00
  • Closed on: January 1st, Lunar New Year, Chuseok
  • Admission: Free