Korean War Memorial and Museum, Seoul

Korea has had a tough history.
I'm sure you're familiar with the Korean War. But the nation has been invaded countless times over the centuries from all sides. The museum honors those who fought to protect their country and tell their stories.
 The entire building is massive, and it took me about three hours to get through it.
 You start with a hall of reflection to set the mood. Then the history lesson begins.
 As is common in Korea, dioramas and models help bring the details to life.
 Artifacts are also found, from battle armor to documents.
 One of the rooms holds a model castle that you can explore as you learn about defending it.
 You can climb to the top of the wall.

 The major wars are explained in chronological order, and the evolution of weapons technology becomes apparent as you move from swords to cannons.
 As you move from exhibit to exhibit you find yourself back in a main hall which has a wartime ship.
 A large portion of the museum is devoted to the Korean War.

 There are several life-size recreated scenes from the war, from the battlefields and bases to the villages and cities.

 Once you've "finished" the Korean War, you end up in a large area with several planes hanging from the rafterse. The bottom floor had some fun things for children when I visited, though I think it was a temporary exhibit.
 A smaller wing tells the story of the Vietnam War, and Korea's involvement in battle.

 Continuing on, there is a section on uniforms, including the futuristic looking combat gear in the right-hand picture.
 An indoor collection downstairs has several more planes and other vehicles.
 But once you've finished inside, there's a lot left outside.
 Dozens of planes, tanks, boats, large guns, and more are found parked on the museum grounds.

 As you can see, there was a good bit of snow on the ground; I visited early in the morning just after a fresh layer of the white stuff had fallen. I believe some of the vehicles are opened for viewing at various times, but due to the snow almost nothing could be looked into. How cool it would be to climb inside a tank! The snow also made it difficult to get great pictures of some things due to glare or just being covered. I'll have to visit again sometime!
The museum opened in 1994. It's now open daily (except Monday) 9:00-18:00, with last admission an hour before closing. Admission is free.

The easiest access is via subway Line 4 or Line 6; get off at Samgakji Station. Take Exit 12 and follow the road for a couple minutes; you can't miss the museum just after the first stoplight.

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