Monday, February 13, 2012

Seodaemun Prison History Hall

During our last days in Seoul, we did a lot of sightseeing and went to places we had wanted to see but never had the time.  One of those places was the Seodaemun Prison.  It's where thousands of Korean resistance movement members were imprisoned, tortured and killed during the Japanese occupations.  We went on a very cold Sunday morning.  It's every easy to find:  Dongnimun Subway Station, Exit 5. As you exit it's immediately on the left.  There is an admission charge of 1500 WON ($1.30USD) which is very reasonable.  There are arrows on the floor to guide you through the entire complex.

I was surprised at how many kids we saw.  I never thought there would be field trips on a Sunday but that's what it looked like to us.

 This is Memorial Hall where the walls are lined with the faces of those who gave their life for freedom.

                                      I was surprised at how many women I saw on the walls. 

                                                          This is a shot of the ceiling.
                                                        And looking out the window.

This was a box they would put prisoners in.  It was the size of a large dog crate.  See the metal spikes coming out the sides?
This was also a place they would put prisoners.  Rocketman couldn't even fit into the cell.  You could not lay down inside. It was tiny.

                                                                     Prisoners uniform.

                                                                        Cell block.

Some of the cells had these in them.  I'm thinking it must have been famous people that had spent time in that particular cell.

                                                                 Prisoner rice bowls.
                                 The prison was also a factory and the prisoners made bricks.

                                            Rocketman was taking a lot of pictures.
                 This is the Reverence Monument dedicated to those who gave their life for freedom.
Rocketman noticed on closer inspection of the monument that there were names but you had to look closely to see them.
                                   You also walked on bricks made by the prisoners.

The next stop was the execution building.  Outside was this very tall poplar tree with this sign.
Here is a picture of the tree and part of the execution building.  There were no photographs aloud of the building in honor of those who died.  There was even a guard shack with a guard in it to enforce this rule.
There also was a new gift shop and we saw these adorable paper dolls and had to get them.  I can't wait to put them together.
Rocketman got this kit to put together.  We were freezing the entire time we were there and I'm glad we went on a cold winter day.  It let us experience some of what the prisoners living conditions were.  None of the buildings except the new gift shop were heated.  It was freezing inside those buildings and I had a winter coat, hat and gloves on.  Imagine just being in a prisoner's uniform.  It also gets wicked hot in the summer and it would have been miserable.  My heart goes out to those who lost their lives in the fight for freedom.

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