The National Museum of Korea
I’m not usually a museum loving person, so it took me a few years to finally go and see the National Museum of Korea (국립중앙박물관). I think it’s the stagnant look of things in glass cases that throws me off, but with lots of rain and cloudy days, seeing something indoors is all there is to do.
Walking up to the gigantic building and the glass doors set the mood to see some fantastically old artifacts with some major importance. This current building was opened in 2005 and the amount of space devoted to the museum makes it the largest museum in Korea as well as puts it on the list of the top 10 largest museums in the world. Once inside, one can see all the way to the top of the building in the main marbled hallway with different galleries flanking the sides. The size of the building and the architecture really put me in my place making me consider how I am but a small word in a sentence written in one of the many books that outline our history.
The museum has three floors and each floor is split into different sections. The first floor covers Prehistory, Ancient History, Medieval and Early Modern History. The second floor has galleries with donations by individuals and the Calligraphy and Painting Gallery, which I personally enjoyed quite a bit. The third floor houses the Sculpture and Crafts Gallery and the Asia Gallery.
The old paintings and sculptures of Buddha that were saved throughout Korea’s tumultuous history are beautifully exhibited. With benches to sit on and observe the pieces almost every place you look and the calm quite serene atmosphere maintained by the staff, it’s a perfect place to get away from “it” all and ponder whatever may be on one’s mind. The permanent exhibit space could take the better part of a day or longer to see everything closely but is certainly worth a visit for those with time to spare in the city.
서울특별시 용산구 용산동6가 168-6
168-6 6-ga Yongsan-dong Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Korea
Bus: 400, 502, 100, 2016, 3012, 6211
Subway: Ichon Subway Station, exit 2
Amenities: Digital Guide (only available through reservation made one day prior)
Hours of Operation:
Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 9:00 – 18:00
Wednesday, Saturday: 9:00 – 21:00
Sunday, Holidays: 9:00 – 19:00
Closed New Year’s Day and Mondays
Admission: Free for permanent exhibitions.
Special exhibits are charged separately.
English: Tuesday – Sunday 10:30AM and 2:30PM
Japanese: Tuesday – Friday 9:30AM; Saturday & Sunday 10:30AM and 2:30PM
Chinese: Tuesday – Friday 10:30AM; Saturday & Sunday 10:30AM and 2:30PM
Interpretation services should be reserved in advance.