Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Gyeonggyojang back to Donuimun

It's always a bit strange, when I go see a doctor at the Samsung Gangbuk Hospital, to know the reception desk used to be the home of Kim Gu, head of Korea's provisional government, between the 1945 independence and his assassination in 1949, in that very same building, renamed Gyeonggyojang ("Capital Bridge Mansion") as a tribute to that period.

Typical of the Western-Japanese architecture from the occupation years, Gyeonggyojang was built in 1936 by a flamboyant Korean collaborator who offered it to the national hero as a smart flip-flop cover-up. It later became private property and now belongs to Samsung Insurance, who agreed to empty it and return it to the public.

The transformation into a museum (located in 108-1, Pyeong-dong, Jongno-gu) will finish next year but on August 15th, a limited number of selected visitors will be allowed to explore it for the national anniversary.

This old new landmark will provide a perfect purpose of visit on this side of Donuimun : as we saw earlier*, the gate will be restored where it was, precisely in front of this hospital, and I hope Samsung will seize the opportunity to make the complex a bit less overwhelming.

Seoul Village 2010


* "
Donuimun restoration and Sadaemun resurrection"

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