Tapgol park is located on the former site of Wongak Temple. The Temple was destroyed during the reign of Yeonsangun and Jungjong due to the repression policy of Buddhism. In the late 19th Century John McLeavy Brown, an Irishman and financial advisor/Chief Commissioner of Customs in Korea suggested that a western park be built. Tapgol Park was built sometime in the 1890’s and became the first modern park of Korea. The park was open to the public from 1913.
Tapgol park played a very important role in modern Korea. It was here that on March 1st, 1919 that the Declaration of Independence was recited and began the start of the independence movement against Japanese Rule. From here the movement spread across Korea. In the park there is a tower with the 1,762 word declaration of independence inscribed on it in English and Korean alongside statues of the independence leaders such as Byung Hee Son.
The park is a somewhat open museum honouring the independence movement and displaying treasures from Wongak Temple. National Treasure No.2, Wongak Temple 10 level stone tower is on display in the park.
Opening Hours / Admission:
Open everyday year round from 06:00 – 20:00
Admission is free.
How to get to Tapgol Park:
Take line 1, 3 or 5 to Jongno 3 (sam)-ga station and leave exit 1. Head straight.
Take line 1 to Jonggak station and leave exit 3 and head straight.
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