Jeongdong Culture Tour

[Jeongdong Culture Tour]

Let’s travel to Modern Cultural Heritage in Jeongdong-gil with a  Cultural commentator.

Jeongdong Culture Tour

There are locations that you could meet walking through Deoksugung-palace stonewall(Doldam-gil).

Seoul Museum of Arts, Jungmyeongjeon, Jeongdong Theater, Baejae Hakdang, the site of Sontak Hotel and Canadian Ambassy..

“Jeongdong” is place where the representative cultural heritages are gathering.

Let’s follow “Jeongdong Culture Tour”,
a program that you could learn about the history of Jeongdong touring with a commentator
and that you could see Korean traditional performing arts as well!

The cultural heritage commentators from National Trust Korea for cultural heritage join this tour.

​1. About the name of ‘Jeongdong’ and its history..  

▲Jeongdong-gil

The commentator explained about the history of the name ‘Jeongdong’ and of the location.

The name of ‘Jeongdong’ is from ‘Jeong-neung’
which is the royal tomb of the queen ‘Sindeok’ (Mrs. Kang) was the wife of King Taejo Lee Sung-gye.

As many modern cultural heritages are gathering in this place,

Jeongdong is the starting place of Korean modern culture.

The first place of modern education: Baejae Hakdang/ Ewha Hakdang.

The first place where the hospital for women: Bogu Yeogwan.

The first journalism office: Sin-a Ilbo.

The first place of christian baptism in Korea: Jeongdong Jaeil Church.

And

The first modern theater: Jeongdong Theater.

Therefore, “Jeongdong” is meaningful place where we can see the changes of modern culture in Korea
and it is called “No.1 place of Modern Cultural Heritage.

 ​2. The route of Jeongdong Culture Tour

Here below the route of the tour.

It is subject to change depending on the culture and the audiences.

However, mostly the route runs as below.

Depart from Jeongdong Theater → Former Russian Legation → Ewha Girls High School(Ewha Hakdang) → Jeongdong Jaeil Church →  Baejae Hakdang → Arrive at Jeongdong Theater

​”Jeongdong” is located in the downtown of Seoul
but due to Deoksu-gung palace and Jeongdong Park, it has many green area and it is designed as walk-friendly way.​

Therefore, even in the heat wave of August, I could feel coll with the sound of cicadas.

The first visiting spot was “Former Russian Legation”.

#. Former Russian Legation

​▲ The Site of Former Russian Legation| Photo From : Naver

The Former Russian Legation was registered as Historical landmark No. 253.

After the assassination of Empress Myeongseong-hwangu,
King Gojong and the Crown Prince Sought refuge in the Russian Embassy for one year.

It was huge two storied renaissance-building of  5,000 square meters.

However it was destroyed by Korean war so now only small part of the building is remained.

Can you imagine how huge it was?​

#. Canadian Embassy

Lots of Embassies are located in Jeongdong-gil.

Walking down from the Former Russian Legation,

We can meet the Canadian Embassy.

After the U.S. Embassy is founded in 1883, in Jeongdong-gil,

the embassy of England, Russia, France, Germany and Belgium were founded in this area.

Let’s move to Ewha Girls High School.

#. Ewha Girls High School : Former site of Sontak Hotel

The reason why we visit Ewha Girls High School is ‘Sontak Hotel’.

This location was the site of Sontak Hotel.

Do you know about the Sontak Hotel?

Sontak Hotel was the first western style hotel in Korea.

It was founded by Mrs Sontak who was the wife of Russian Ambassador in Korea.

At that time, this hotel was social & diplomatic place.

However,

After the time, it was received by Ewha Hakdang and used as student dorm.

​▲ Monument of the site of Sontak Hotel / The participants of Jeongdong Culture Tour

#. Ewha Hakdang

Ewha Hakdang was first private school for women in Korea which was founded by Mrs. S​cranton.

King Gojong bestowed the name of the school “Ewha”(literally means “Pear Blossoms”)

The school began in small house.

However, the school has many difficulties.

Because nobody wanted to educate their daughters because of the feudalism.

Therefore, at the first time, there was only school without students.

After one year of the foundation, Ewha hakdang had the first student.

The first student followed her parents because they heard that the school will cover the life of students as well as the education.

However, after few days, the parents brought back their daughter.

Because of the social recognition that sending a daughter to the Ewha Hakdang is like selling her to western ghost.

Therefore, Mrs Scranton ​wrote a pledge.

The contents of the pledge was like below :

“Without the permission of the parents, we don’t bring the girl
not only the western country but also the out of the school.”

​Then, they could have the first student.

Even if the many difficulties from the first time,
the Ewha Hakdang has turned out many excellent women in the history.

The first female instructor, Kyung-sook Lee.
The first student who went to study to U.S. Ransa Ha.

I appreciate to Mrs. Scranton who played significant role for female education in Korea.

#. Jeongdong Jaeil Church

▲ Jeongdong Jaeil Church | Photo from : Naver

Jeongdong Jaeil Church was founded as the first ​protestant church in Korea
and it was registered as the historical landmark No.256.

Actually, it was the place where the declaration of independence was copied  in secret.

In this reason, the pastor in charge, Pil-ju Lee and a missionary Dong-wan Park were jailed
as they were the members of the 33 Korean readers.

#. Baejae Hakdang

▲ Baejae Hakdang | Photo From : Naver

The last spot of Jeongdong Culture Tour was ‘Baejae Hakdang’.

It is the first modernized institution in Korea and it was founded by pastor. Appenzeller.
At the first time, the school was begun in a Hanok but later, it is built as western building.

The significant students from ‘Baejae Hakdang’ are :

The first president Seungman Rhi, Writer Dohyang Na, Poet Sowel Kim, Scholar of Hanguel Sigyeong Joo
and fighter for independence Chungchun Ji.

It was interesting that the first modernized institution and the first female educational institute
were located in the same ‘Jeongdong’.

After the tour, you will see the Korean traditional performance <Lotus, A Flower Comes Out Once More>.

You can participate this program until November,

Every second and fourth Saturdays 2 pm.

Only at Jeongdong Theater!

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