Yong-mi Kim / Republic of Korea
Baekje (18BCE–660CE), an ancient kingdom of Korea, had prospered while Hanseong (today’s Seoul) was its capital, thus the period was named the “Hanseong Baekje Era” (18BCE–475CE). Remnants of the kingdom can be seen at the Seoul Baekje Museum, which exhibits 2000+ year-old ancient cultural relics from the Kingdom as well as from East Asia.
The museum is located within the Olympic Park overlooking the Mongchontoseong Earthen Fortification, an important historical site built during the Hanseong Baekje era. Resembling a hill, the fortification was built by layering compacted earth such as strata, as can be seen from the scale model. Architect Yong-mi Kim used motifs found at the earthen fortification to design the Museum.
The site was originally a hill of pine trees. Kim constructed the museum on a slight hill while maintaining the original shape of it. She saved the height and erected fortress-like walls around it, then dug under the hill to build a lobby inside.
Upon entering the museum, a replica of the fortress’ cross section can be seen a wall. This gigantic structure standing at ground level is three-stories high, mesmerizing visitors with its grand scale.
TIP : Every fall, the Hanseong Baekje Cultural Festival is held at historical sites of the ancient Baekje Kingdom (e.g., Pungnaptoseong & Mongchontoseong Earthen Fortifications) near Lotte World. You can see memorial rituals for kings, and a parade themed on the history and culture of Baekje. Various eateries and food carts are operated during the event.
Location : 71 Wiryeseong-daero, Songpa-gu, Seoul
Telephone : 02-2152-5800
How to go : 5-min walk from Exit 2 of Hanseong Baekje
Station, Subway Line 9
Operating hours : 09:00–19:00 (Closed on Mondays and Jan 1)
Admission Fees : Free (except for special & planned exhibitions)
*All photos provided by the Seoul Baekje Museum
Lotte World & Lotte World Tower
Seoul Olympic Museum of Art (SOMA)
Pungnaptoseong Earthen Fortification