Seorae Village

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Seorae Village
Korean transcription(s)
 • Hangul
 • Hanja西
 • Revised RomanizationSeorae Ma-eul
 • McCune–ReischauerSŏrae Maŭl
Seorae Village
Seorae Village
CountrySouth Korea

Seorae Village, sometimes nicknamed "Montmartre" due to its hilltop location, is a small French enclave in Banpo-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul, South Korea.[1][2] It is home to about 560 French people, roughly 40% of the French community in South Korea. Most of them are employees of French corporations doing business in the country.[1] The majority (370) of the French population is actually children.[2]

The village began to form there in 1985, with the movement of Lycée Français de Séoul to the area.[1] The school, the city's only French international school, had formerly been located just north of the Han River in Hannam-dong, a large international neighborhood. French people with children followed, as did bakeries and wine shops.

The village is the site of a 20,000 m² park, "Montmartre Park",[2] which is often the site of public events for foreigners. It is near Express Bus Terminal Station on Seoul Subway Line 3.

The area has a large concentration of European-style restaurants and dessert cafes, as well as wineries and cafes stand along its main street.[3]


Seorae Village scene

Seorae Village is a district of Seoul, on Banpo 4-dong, Seocho-gu. It begins at Seorae-ro by Sapyeong-ro, which is located on the southern end of Banpo-daegyo bridge.[4] The name of French Village comes from the fact that about two hundred French people live there. There is not much difference between this village and a common Korean villages because it does not have exotic French style buildings or signboards.[5]

The 300 meter street from Seorae-ro to Bangbae middle school at the end of the hill is paved with three colors blocks (red, white, and blue) to symbolize the national flag of France.[6] Visitors can see signs where French is written with Korean script, such as Attention Ecole (Attention School), Hopital ste-Marie (St. Mary's Hospital) and the signboards of "Le Seine" or "Le Ciel" with the street name of "Montmartre." [7]

The village began to form here in 1985 with the moving of L'Ecole Francaise de Seoul formerly located in Hannam-dong to the area.[8] Next, French people started to gather around the school.

Since the 1990s, as more French corporations including Carrefour, TGV, and Renault have advanced into Korea, Seorae Village became animated gradually, and developed as a tourist attraction for French people in Korea.[9] The Seocho-gu government announced that they will create access to Seorae Village as a specialized street where French style culture coexists with businesses.[10] Therefore, the French Village is expected to be reborn as the cultural landmark of Seocho-gu.[11]


There are many attractions to look around in Seorae Village. The French School of Seoul is located in the heart of Seoul’s French community in Banpo 4-dong.[12] It is Seoul’s only government-established French-language school. Accredited by the French Ministry of Education and regulated by the National Agency for French Education Abroad.[13] Enrolls about 390 students. From elementary school, students must be competent in French. Has a kindergarten, elementary school and junior and high school.[14]

National Library of Korea is where numerous materials are collected and preserved.[15] It currently holds approximately 4.3 million books and theses, of which roughly two-hundred thousand are collected annually.[16] Art exhibitions are occasionally held in the exhibition room on the first floor. Surrounded by Seocho Park, the scenery outside is beautiful and the atmosphere is very relaxing.[17]

Montmartre Park

Banpo Hangang River Park is among the most popular Hangang park.[18] Located between the Banpo and Hannam bridges on the river’s south bank, the park was recently redone, with much of the natural vegetation removed in favor of expansive lawns, walking and bicycle trails, and a large play area for children.[19] An inline skating rink and outdoor stages were also incorporated into the new design.[20] This being a riverside park, jet skis vy with water taxis and river cruise boats for primacy on the water. [21]

Also, for eating. At Paris Croissant, breads and croissants are made fresh daily by a French patissier who uses wheat imported from Paris.[22] Paris Croissant is a chain of bakeries found all across Seoul and internationally.[23] Brooklyn The Burger Joint, near the Seorae Village, has one of the best fresh burgers in all of Seoul.[24] Brooklyn The Burger Joint uses only 100% certified beef that is grounded fresh daily.[25]


Festival in Seorae Village

Every year, several festivals are held in Seorae Village including a costume parade and a Montmartre music festival.[26]

In spring, students from the French School of Seoul march in a costume parade.[27] The school hosts this event to promote traditional French culture.[28] The carnival is an archaic tradition connected to the agricultural and seasonal cycle of each year, and has the significance of purification as well.[29]

Banpo Seorae Korea/France Music Festival is held every summer.[30] This festival's purpose is to allow people to understand each other's culture and get along. About 2,000 people attend every year, including residents and artists who love music.[31]


Dulwich College Seoul, a British international school, is about five minutes away by car.[32]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Kyung Taek Lee. "French Village in Banpo-dong". KBS.
  2. ^ a b c "Little France on the Han River". Chosun Ilbo. April 11, 2006.
  3. ^ Cho Jae-eun; Junghee Lee; Chang Hae-won (27 April 2011). "Amuse-bouches in Seoul's French Quarter". Joongang Daily. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  4. ^ "French Town in Seoul exudes exotic beauty". 1999-2014 KOCIS. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
  5. ^ "Seorae Maeul (Seorae French Village)". The Seoul Guide © 2014. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
  6. ^ "Seorae Village – Little France in Seoul, South Korea". Evan and Rachel. 2014 Evan and Rachel in Korea. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
  7. ^ "Seorae Village". 2014 SEOUL Magazine. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
  8. ^ "French Village (Seorae Village)". Life in Korea. 1997-2014 Life in Asia, Inc. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
  9. ^ "A petite France in Seoul: Seorae Village". Herald Corporation. The Korea Herald. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
  10. ^ "Seorae Village – Little France in Seoul, South Korea". Koreabridge. Retrieved 4 December 2014.
  11. ^ "Little France in Seoul, Seorae Village". Myongil Universiry. The Myongji Press. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  12. ^ "Education for foreign residents". The official website of Seoul metropolitan government. 2014 Seoul Metropolitan Government. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
  13. ^ "Lycee International Xavier / French International School". angloinfo. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
  14. ^ "2. Foreign School". Retrieved 29 November 2014.
  15. ^ "Seoul » Seocho-gu » The National Library of Korea (국립중앙도서관)". korea be inspired. KOREA TOURISM ORGANIZATION. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
  16. ^ "The National Library of Korea". © 2014. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
  17. ^ "National Digital Library (Dibrary)". Visit Seoul. - 2014 Seoul Metropolitan Government. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
  18. ^ "Seoul » Seocho-gu » Banpo Hangang Park (반포한강공원)". korea be inspired. KOREA TOURISM ORGANIZATION. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
  19. ^ "Hangang Banpo Park". Exploring 2014 ExploringKorea. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
  20. ^ "Banpo Hangang Park". The Seoul Guide 2014. The Seoul Guide 2014. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
  21. ^ "Banpo Hangang Park (반포한강공원)". Visit Korea. KOREA TOURISM ORGANIZATION. Retrieved 25 November 2014.
  22. ^ "Paris Croissant, the No.1 South Korean franchise bakery that utilizes authentic French baking". SPC. SPC. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
  23. ^ "Paris Croissant Kitchen". Incheon Airport. Incheon International Airport Cooperation. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
  24. ^ "Brooklyn The Burger Joint". The Seoul Guide © 2014. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
  25. ^ "THE BEST BURGER IN SEOUL". 2011-2014 Seoulgrub. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
  26. ^ "Brooklyn Burger". Korea Ye. Overseas Yes. Retrieved 4 December 2014.
  27. ^ "Korea-France Music Festival held today". The Korea Times. Retrieved 4 December 2014.
  28. ^ "French influence evident in Banpo". JoongAng Ilbo. Korea Joongang Daily. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  29. ^ "2011 Banpo Seorae Korea & France Music Festival". KOCIS. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  30. ^ "ECM Music Festival combines jazz, classical music". HomeStayKorea. HomeStayKorea. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  31. ^ "Seorae Village". Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  32. ^ "Find Us." Dulwich College Seoul. Retrieved on March 30, 2016.

External links[edit]