Seodaemun Prison

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Seodaemun Prison
Hangul 서대문 형무소
Hanja 西大門刑務所
Revised Romanization Seodaemun Hyeongmuso
McCune–Reischauer Sŏdaemun Hyŏngmuso
The barracks of Seodaemun Prison

Seodaemun Prison History Hall is a museum and former prison in Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, South Korea. It was constructed beginning in 1907. The prison was opened on October 21, 1908, under the name Gyeongseong Gamok. Its name was changed to Seodaemun Prison in 1923.

The prison was used during the Colonial period to house anti-colonial activists, and could accommodate around 500 people. After the colonial era ended in 1945, the prison was used by the South Korean government until 1987, when it was replaced by a facility in Uiwang City, Gyeonggi Province. In 1992, the site was dedicated as the Seodaemun Prison History Hall, part of Independence Park. Seven of the prison complex's original fifteen buildings are preserved as historical monuments. Park Yu-ha, a professor of Sejong University criticized that the History Hall is focused on the history of Japanese rule only to exacerbate the hatred toward Japan, totally ignoring the 50-year history after the liberation.

Regardless, the History Hall showcases all those imprisoned during the Japanese Colonial Era and continues to serve as a memorial hall. In 1911, Kim, Koo was imprisoned. He was one of the more important figures in the Korean liberation movement. In 1919, shortly after the March 1st liberation movement, many others were imprisoned. Among them was Ryu Gwansun.[1]


Seodaemun Independence Park, including Seodaemun Prison, is easily accessed from exits 4 or 5 of the Dongnimmun Station on Seoul Subway Line 3.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "For reconciliation: Textbook, Comfort women, Yasukuni shrine and Liancourt Rocks" (in Japanese). Heibonsha. 2006. p. 53. ISBN 9784582702651. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°34′28″N 126°57′24″E / 37.57442°N 126.95663°E / 37.57442; 126.95663