A trip to Seoul Museum

This is Sunday.  We got up this morning and went to church at the Kong Hang church of Christ as usual.  Afterward, I seemed to have a lot of teaching to do.  You see, there are lots of kids there, and there are young parents, and they ask questions on how to raise their kids, and I am completely happy to explain to them how I did it.  After that, my daughter, my Korean son in law, and Hanul, our Korean friend, drove through at McDonalds for lunch, and then on  to Hyochang Park where I taught a Bible class. After the Bible class, several from the Bible class decided to go to Seoul Museum together.


Here is a map of old Seoul that was on the pavement in front of the museum.

Seoul Museum is supposed to have the history of Seoul from the Jeoson Dynasty until present, and it has different branches all over Seoul focusing on different things.  One in our group picked up a pamphlet in English for me to read, and it seems that this museum has nine different locations around Seoul, and each one features something different. The particular one we visited today featured the Democracy Movement in Korea, lots of grave markers from different members of Korea’s royal family, and a whole section on Hans Christian Anderson, Copenhagen, and his stories.  Koreans love stories from around the world, and I have heard Hans Christian Anderson hailed as the best story teller that has ever lived.

In the yard next to the museum, we encountered something very funny, a big hand.  It seemed to be reaching over the wall into the museum yard.

There were several of these statues in the museum yard. They are mythical beasts that usually guard temples and palaces.
They also had replicas of how the old roofs of the temples and palaces were built in the yard in front of the museum.
Here is a picture of the replica of the top of the old roofs of the temples and palaces. You can see monkey statues lined up on the top.
Here are some of the mythical beasts at the entrance to the museum, and kids were riding them.


We didn’t have to pay to get in. When we went inside, I learned that this place was very kid friendly. Besides kids riding on the mythical beasts in the front, they had a replica of a Korean king’s throne, and the kids were taking turns sitting on the throne.

Next, we found an entrance to a kind of fairy tale land, and when we got inside, we realized it was mostly all about Hans Christian Anderson and his stories.
A bust of Hans Christian Anderson

There were several interesting pictures of Hans Christian Anderson’ stories.

This was not a picture. It was a 3-D representation of Copenhagen with some crazy guy on a goat plucking a bird in front of it. We figured the guy must be from one of Hans Christian Anderson’s stories.
They placed a mermaid on a mirror to make it look like it was in water. She is probably from one of Hans Christian Anderson’s stories too.

They had one of those high tech virtual reality things that you put on your head and feel like you are actually there, kind of like the Hollow Deck on Star Trek.  My daughter tried it, and we could see what she saw on a screen on the wall, so I snapped some pictures of what she was looking at. My guess is that the movie she was watching was taken inside of Hans Christian Anderson’s house.

We went in another door, and everything there was about the Democracy Movement in Korea.
They had a plaque with a map of North Korea, and below are all pictures taken inside of North Korea.  I tried to get some of the close up for you. Look below.
Pictures inside of North Korea.
More pictures taken inside of North Korea.
Pictures taken inside of North Korea.
Here is a picture of the man who made the first translation of the book of John into Korean, the beginning of translating the Bible into Korean.

Christianity had a big influence on Democracy coming to Korea. The Koreans already knew about God, but they didn’t know about the Bible. They knew about God because their first king’s father, many, many years ago, came to Korea from the Tower of Babel. If you know much about South Korea now, you know that Christianity became a major force in S. Korea. There is a church building on almost every street corner and crosses everywhere.  The first gathering of people who wanted Democracy was in the courtyard of a Catholic church.  The largest church in the world is a Pentecostal church in Youido in Seoul.  The biggest force in the S. Korean government is the Presbyterian church. Koreans love Christianity!

After we saw the room about the Democracy movement, my Korean son in law couldn’t contain himself!  He wanted to walk in the garden behind the museum.  It was full of grave markers that were moved there from people who were members of the royal family of Korea.

These guys were also moved to the yard of the museum from a grave yard.  They are supposed to be scholar statesmen. Education has always been very important and greatly admired in Korea. In old Korea, only the most important people in the country could get an education like the people in the government.  
They also had an old trolley car like the ones they used to use in the yard of the museum. They no longer run trolley cars in Seoul. They have an excellent subway system, and an excellent bus system that will take you all over Korea. They also have the Mugunwa and the K-Tex, their trains.  The Mugunwa is the regular train that runs all over Korea and the K-Tex is their bullet train that goes 200 miles per hour. 

After seeing the museum and its gardens, we decided it was time to go.  Some of the group went home because not all of them were part of the Um family.  I am not an Um, but my daughter is, and we were going to meet the Um family for a parent’s day dinner across the street from the Seoul Museum.  It turned into a long, busy day, but it was a good day.





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