Myeongdong Cathedral

Myeongdong Cathedral located in the downtown Seoul was the first and most important Catholic church in Korea. It's an important symbol of Christianity in the country, being the birthplace for the Roman Catholic Church community. It's formal name is Cathedral Church of the Virgin Mary of the Immaculate Concepcion and was also known as Chong-Hyen.

The elegant cathedral was the first Gothic style church in Korea to be constructed of brick. The roof of the church is 25 meters (75 feet) tall while the bell tower is 45 meter (147 feet) tall. The floor plan of the church was designed around a Latin cross.

Before it's known for what it is today, this location was called Myeongnaebang, where people started congregating to express their faith. Aside from that, it's an important location for human rights protests and also for the for the struggle for democracy in South Korea against the military government that came to after the Korean War.

The church was also used as a refuge by political protesters. Police at the time refused to enter the church. Even to this day, the occasional fugitive may enter the church hoping for the same outcome.

The church houses the remains of several individuals: Bishop Laurent Joseph Marie Imbert (1796-1839), and priests Peter Simon (1803-1839), James (Jacques Honor Chastan, 1803-1839) and Pourthie Jean Antoine Charles (1830-1866) and four martyrs.

To truly appreciate the beauty of this Architecture, one must go inside to view the tall ceilings and stained glass windows. When we visited the church, it was to attend a mass, so I was not able to take pictures of the inside. But I can tell you that it's really a beauty. They said that one of the best times to visit is when the organ is being played, usually around noon.

 If you are planning on attending the mass, see the schedule below:

Mass Schedule:
Daily: 9:00-21:00
Saturday Vigil Mass: 18:00, 19:00
Sunday Masses: 7:00, 9:00 (English), 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 16:00, 17:00, 18:00, 19:00, 21:00
Weekday Masses: (except Monday): 6:30, 18:00, 19:00

A highlight of the church is the Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve.

As soon as the mass started, they close the door shut and no one is allowed to come in or out. I guess this is so no one disturbs the solemnity of the mass. Unlike here in the Philippines, anyone can come and go, attend the mass halfway or let their children play and cry inside the church during the holy mass.

Myeongdong Cathedral is one of the popular spots in downtown Seoul that tourist frequently visit. Near the cathedral are the other tourist spots such as the Namsangol Hanol Village, N Seoul Tower and Namdaemun Market, a traditional market with a wide variety of food and goods.

How to get to Myeongdong Cathedral?

Option 1:

  1. Take Subway Line 4 to Myeong-dong Station (Exit 6).
  2. Turn left onto Myeongdong 8-gil and continue for 350 meters.
  3. Turn right onto Myeongdong-gil and continue for 180 meters to reach the cathedral on your right.

Option 2:

  1. Take Subway Line 2 to Euljiro 3-ga Station (Exit 12).
  2. From the exit, continue for 160 meters and turn left onto Samil-daero.
  3. Continue for 170 meters and turn right onto Myeongdong-gil.
  4. Continue for 100 meters to reach the cathedral on your left.

Post a Comment