Seodaemun Prison History Museum

This was a really interesting adventure for the boys and me. I had heard that this museum was neat, but I wasn't really thinking about whether I should have young kids with me while I went. Since it was either go with kids or not go ever, I obviously brought them along and we took a lot of time talking and explaining things. This place had a similar feel to the holocaust museum, but obviously the devastation was not on the same scale. Still, being on the grounds where people were tortured for their beliefs, it was eerie.

The prison was used from 1908-1987 while Korea was under Japanese rule, and those who were anti-colonists were imprisoned, tortured, forced to do extreme labor and executed. 
A layout and blueprint of the prison as it was in the beginning.

Name tags

Execution chair

Cade taking a picture of Alex behind bars

Original handcuffs

The museum had a great layout that takes you through some history and then leads you through different buildings and the purposes they served during the prison years.
Room dedicated for remembrance. Pictures of 5,000 who died surround you.

Replica of the execution room. You can enter peer into the real execution room, but no pictures allowed.
Different torture rooms. This was the finger poke room, blood stains on the table.

(I liked the picture both ways, with the bars clear and blurry)

Torture box, not big enough to stand up, too small to sit down, and then they'd shake it.

The boys as prisoners.

Narrow room torture
 The next series of pictures are in the actual prison cells. It was really neat to be able to go inside some of them and get the feel for their living conditions.
Two levels of cells

These are the cells for the really bad prisoners, look how small!

All throughout the museum there are things like this replica of a woman inside the prison cell that are just creepy. There were lots of visual and sound effects to recreate the aesthetics of the prison. I'm glad my boys were able to listen to my explanations and not get too scared.

Giant Korean flag displayed outside the prison hall.

The boys holding hands as they walk up to the house where the lepers lived.
The mountains in the background are just gorgeous.
After you leave the 'actual' execution room you are led to a tunnel where they would take the dead bodies.

This was an interesting feature. This was an exercise area, with walls to separate the prisoners from talking with one another.

Inside the exercise area

I'm glad we went, and I would recommend it to all my friends in Korea, but maybe not for the younger kids, 2-4 or so, or if they get spooked easily.


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