Independence Hall of Korea

Visiting the Independence Hall of Korea in Cheonan

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The Independence Hall of Korea in Cheonan is a must-visit destination to get a deeper understanding of Korean history and culture. It makes for a perfect day trip from Seoul and other parts of Korea due to its central location and close connection by intercity bus or KTX.

How to get to the Independence Hall of Korea

  • Address: 1, Dongnipginyeomgwan-ro, Dongnam-gu, Cheonan-si, Chungcheongnam-do (충청남도 천안시 동남구 목천읍 독립기념관로 1 (목천읍))
  • Korean name: 독립기념관 (Dognibginyeomgwan)
  • Operating hours: March-October 09:30-18:00 November-February 09:30-17:00 * Last admission: 1 hour before closing
  • Inquiries: 1330 Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
  • Recommended visiting time: 3-4 hours

The Independence Hall of Korea is located in Cheonan, about 100 kilometers south of Seoul. Here are a few options on how to get there:

By bus: You can take an intercity bus from Seoul to Cheonan Bus Terminal. This takes just over 1 hour. From there, take buses 382, 390, 392, 400 or 402 to the Independence Hall.

By subway: You can take Line 1 at Seoul Station directly to Cheonan Station, which takes 1 hour and 40 minutes. From there, board bus 383 and get off at Independence Hall.

By car: There is a large parking lot at the Independence Hall, which is also free.

When to Visit the Independence Hall of Korea in Cheonan

You can enjoy a visit to the Independence Hall of Korea at any time of the year but spring and autumn are probably the best times to visit. This is when seasonal flowers bloom in the brightest colors.

However, since you will also be spending a lot of time inside the exhibition halls, the Independence Hall of Korea makes for a perfect place to visit during bad weather.

Why is the Independence Hall of Korea in Cheonan?

The location of the Independence Hall of Korea in Cheonan probably goes back to the fact that Independence Movement patriot Ryu Gwan-sun was from here.

The young girl of only 17 was the activist organizer in what would come to be known as the March First Independence Movement against Imperial Japanese colonial rule of Korea.

Ryu is one of the most famous figures of the movement and a symbol of Korea’s fight for independence.

She died in prison from injuries sustained from torture.

What you’ll see at the Independence Hall of Korea

The area of the Independence Hall of Korea in Cheonan covers 23,424 m² of indoor and outdoor exhibits. There are 7 exhibition halls with approx. 90,000 items, ranging from artifacts from Korea’s 5,000-year history, Japanese imperialism, and records related to independence movements.

Monument to the Nation

At the beginning of your visit to the Independence Hall of Korea, you immediately notice a large monument placed between the parking area and the hall.

This monument is a large-scale sculpture expressing the emergence of the nation. It is a symbol representing the independence of the Korean people.

It stands as high as 51m/167ft.

Independence Hall of Korea

Taeguk Square

Following the grand entranceway, you’ll spot hundreds of South Korean flags to your left and right.

This is Taeguk Square, commemorating the 60th anniversary of Korean Liberation in 2005. There are a total of 815 national flags here symbolizing liberation, hoisted in a form surrounding the Grand Hall of the Nation.

Independence Hall of Korea

The Grand Hall of the Nation

This is the representative building of the Independence Hall of Korea. It is the largest tile house in East Asia, modeled after the Daeungjeon Hall at Sudeoksa Temple, a head temple of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism inYesan County, South Chungcheong Province.

Sudeoksa Temple was one of few temples not destroyed during the Japanese invasions of Korea, another symbol for the resilience of Korean culture and its people.

Independence Hall of Korea

The Statue of Indomitable Koreans

Situated in the middle of the Grand Hall of the Nation is this symbolic memorial statue. The statue has an inscription reading Cheonji Lake of Mt. Baekdusan.

Flag with Signature of the Korean Independence Army

Also located inside the Grand Hall of the Nation is a large-scale print of a flag with signatures of the Korean Independence Army signed shortly after the liberation. The original is on display in the 5th exhibition hall.

Independence Hall of Korea

Other Artifacts You Shouldn’t Miss at the Independence Hall of Korea

With so many exhibition halls located here, it’s hard to see it all. However, here are a few especially important artifacts you should look out for when visiting the Independence Hall of Korea in Cheonan.

Independence Hall of Korea
statues of famous Korean-independence activists
Korean-independence activist
Inaugural ceremony of the headquarters of the Korean Independence Army
Depiction of famous independence activist Ryu Gwansun
Life before, during and after Japanese Occupation
Buddhist monks printing the Jikji
Creation of the Tripitaka Koreana at Haeinsa Temple - National Treasure
Historic naval battle of Korea

Take your time during your visit!

I recommend planning half a day at least for your visit to the Independence Hall of Korea in Cheonan. It’s a huge area with so much to see and so much information to absorb. If you are interested in Korean history, it’s definitely worth checking out!

Recommended Travel Guides for Korea

If you want to learn more about South Korea and have a handy travel guide in your pocket, check out these three options below:

DK Eyewitness Top 10 Seoul

This Top 10 Seoul guide is a great pocket guide that breaks down the best of Seoul into helpful lists of ten – from selected highlights to the best museums and galleries, and the most authentic restaurants, tearooms, bars, shops, and markets. I personally helped update the most recent version of this guide. Buy this book.

Lonely Planet Korea

You really can’t go wrong with a lonely planet guide in your hand luggage! I’m a huge fan of Lonely Planet and own this guide myself. What I love is the brand-new pull-out, passport-size ‘Just Landed’ card with wi-fi, ATM and transport info – all you need for a smooth journey from airport to hotel! Buy this book.

South Korea: The Solo Girl’s Travel Guide

Calling all my solo female travel ladies out there – this guide is amazing! Part of the #1 Travel Guidebook Series for Women (and couples), this take on South Korea will help you avoid the scams, creeps, and tourist traps and skip ahead to the cities and adventures that are worth your time (and money)! Buy this book.

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Linda has been living in Asia since 2012 and loves sharing her travel and life experiences on her website. She currently works remotely in Online Marketing and also teaches various English classes in South Korea.

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