Yakhyeon Catholic Church, belonging to Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Seoul, is the country’s first western style of cathedral. The brick construction was built in 1892 in Romanesque fashion. Together with the Myeong-dong Cathedral, it was designates as a cultural property (Historical Site No. 252) in 1977 because it is an important piece in the history of modern Korean architecture.
Meanings in History of Architecture
Yakhyeon Catholic Church is a basilican type of brick construction with little gothic elements but it is the country’s first western style of brick building of great significance in the history of architecture. Among a few western style of buildings constructed before 1900, it was made directly by the western countries, not via Japan. In this context Yakhyeon Catholic Church is of great meaning in the Korean architecture history together with Myeong-dong Cathedral.
Of course, it was not built in complete and pure western medieval style like Myeong-dong Cathedral. But we may give deeper significance to the catholic church in the aspect that the several core factors of the western construction were adopted and tested prior to the construction of Myeong-dong Cathedral.
Consisting of the First exhibition hall (Challenge, Overcome, Victory), the Second exhibition hall (Affection for the people, the Willing for peace, Preciousness of the nation), Image Hall(Memory of the world: Impression and Harmony) and the Special Exhibition Hall (Change and Communication)
101 Son Gee Chung-ro (Malli-dong 2ga), Jung-gu, Seoul
Gate 5 of Chungjeong-ro Station of Line 2 and 5 (10 mins. by foot)
0016, 163, 261, 263, 604
10:00 ~ 18:00 (Enter 1 hour before closing. Close every Monday, New Year’s Day (Gregorian and Lunar), and Korean Thanksgiving Day
On the Yeomcheongyo(Bridge) hanging over the Gyeongui Line (Railroad) of Seoul Station, a time-avoiding landscape is stretched. The jam-packed men’s black shoes and women’s party-colored dance shoes are displayed in the show window along the block. The shops have kept their places in spite of ups and downs of economy since the independence of 1945. The persons engaged in the shoes business from the shoes technicians and to the founder of Kumkang Shoe Company went through this area once or more.
After the flourishing days in the 1970s~1980s, only the persons who knew this place visit the block, but it keeps the 70 years old skills and the trace of time as they were, being a place of the history of Korean shoes industry.
The place that has endured the time for a long time in silence is preparing another revival with the theme of healthy shoes to continue the success of Sungsu-dong shoes street. Competent shoe makers and merchants who devoted their life in the shoe industry are exerting their endeavors for a better service and environments.