Visiting the Independence Hall of Korea in Cheonan
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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