5 days in Seoul, Korea-5/17-5/22/2023

Day 1
Arrival/Korean BBQ
Day 2
Gyeongbokgung Palace
Hoa's Birthday at Mr. Ahn's Craf Magkeolli
Day 3
Changdeokgung Palace
Secret garden
Jongmyo Shrine
Dinner at Kyoyan Siksa
Day 4
Meyeong-Dong Cathedral
Hop on Hop off bus
Gwanjang Market
Cheonggyecheon Stream
Dinner at Yakitori Mook
Day 5
War Memorial Museum
Lotus Lantern Festival
Bukchon Village
Hongdae street
Dinner at Dono & Cocktails

Day 4: Myeong-dong Cathedral-5-20/23

  Myeongdong Cathedral is the first Roman Catholic parish church in Korea.  Designed by French missionaries, it was the first Gothic style building ever constructed in Korea and unlike most Gothic buildings, Myeongdong Cathedral was built with bricks instead of stones. King Gojong, the twenty sixth and final Joseon Dynasty king and first emperor of Korea, laid the first stone.  The construction of the cathedral started in 1892 and was completed in 1898.

The Cathedral is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Immaculate Conception is the principal Patroness of Korea by a Pontifical decree accorded by Pope Gregory XVI in 1841. The cathedral serves as a community landmark, tourist attraction, and a notable symbol of Roman Catholicism in Korea. The Korean government assigned the cathedral as a historic site on 22 November 1977, making it a cultural property and asset of the country

The construction was overseen by Father Coste (Eugene-Jean Georges Coste; Koran name Go Ui Son). He was born near Montpellier, France in 1842 and came to Korea at the age of 43 with the Paris Overseas Missionary Church. Although he designed Myeongdong Cathedral, as well as Yakhyeon Cathedral and the Yongsan Divinity School, he had no formal education in architecture. Unfortunately, he passed at the age of 54 before the church was completed


The original church was constructed with twenty types of locally fired red and gray bricks.


The main building rises to 75 ft. high, while the steeple, which contains a clock, rises to 147 ft.


  The cathedral remains a popular spot for protesters, due to the government's previous disinclination to arrest protesters inside church property.


Portals into the Cathedral


When we got inside the cathedral there was a service in progress. 

The cathedral offers the Holy Mass for foreigners on Sunday mornings, while the rest of its services are in Korean.


The splendid high ceilings inside the church and the arches in between the magnificent inner pillars show the beautiful Gothic style well.


 The interior of the church is ornately decorated with religious artwork.


The high altar of the cathedral features a modernized statue of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart. The image is flanked by a central ciborium enshrining a cross that is flanked by the Twelve apostles.


Stained glass windows were restored to their original condition in 1982 by artist Lee Nam-gyu.


Closer look at the stained glass windows



Side view of the cathedral


Tall columns with arches


A stained glass window.


Side view of the Cathedral


The Cathedral is surrounded by modern buildings.


We are now walking around the property.


There is a lamp festival and the nuns are setting up tents in the back of the Cathedral.


The back of the Cathedral.


 Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres House is the original house of the Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres who were the first sister missionaries in Korea.


The cloister is not open for visitors so we can only take a quick glimpse.


 On the 50th anniversary of the consecration of the church in 1948, a French statue of Our Lady of Lourdes bearing the title “the Immaculate Conception” was erected behind the church property.


 On 27 August 1960, Archbishop Paul Roh Ki-nam consecrated the grotto and dedicated it towards Korean reunification, at the time a highly controversial issue that persists on today.


The crypt


On the basement floor, there is a small sanctuary where the remains of the martyrs are enshrined, and where visitors to the cathedral can pay their respects.


The basement contains the remains of nine saints and martyrs, who devoted their lives to the propagation of Catholicism in Korea. Behind the cathedral, Seongmo Dongsan (St. Mary's garden) is situated. During lunch hour, pipe organs are playing here. The garden offers a peaceful resting space after visiting the cathedral. Catholics in Korea have experienced bloody repressions including the persecution of ten clergymen and nearly 10,000 followers during the introduction of Catholicism to Korea in 1784.


 Statue of Saint Kim Tae-gon Andrew, the first Korean Priest martyr


 Kim Tae-gon Andrew was sentenced to death and was beheaded in September 1846 and was beatified by Pope Pius XI in 1925, and canonized by Pope John-Paul II on May 1984


Our visit is over and we are now leaving the Cathedral.

View of the top of the Cathedral from the street.


NEXT...Hop on, Hop off tour bus





Our house


Photo Gallery

 Mon  petit coin