17 May 2009

Trip to 천안 (Cheonan, South Korea) on 17 May 2009

Source and photos: http://horizons.free.fr/seikatsu/eng/memories/2009-05-17_kr-cheonan.htm

Panorama with 겨레의 탑 (Monument to the Nation) at 독립기념관 (Independence Hall of Korea) I travelled to 천안 (Cheonan, South Korea) for the first time on 17 May 2009 to visit 외암민속마을 (Oeam folk village) and 독립기념관 (Independence Hall of Korea) in company of 진영 (Jin-young) and 현진 (Hyunjin), two locals. The weather was warm but unfortunately cloudy most of the day.

I enjoyed the trip much as I had never visited a traditional village in South Korea before; it differed in many respects from 白川郷 (Shirakawa-go, Japan), which I visited in 2006 (see Post 06 August 2006): buildings are lower, roofs flatter, and walls along paths more numerous. As for the memorial hall, it was impressive for its hugeness, the beauty of some buildings, the peacefulness of the natural surroundings, and for troubling historical presentations including torture scenes and human-scale models of executions of Koreans by Japanese soldiers. Such crudeness reminded me of 서대문형무소 (Seodaemun Prison, South Korea) in 서울 (Seoul), something I have never witnessed in public spaces outside South Korea.

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