Donuimun Museum Village — A Teleport to the Past
Today I invite you to the past! Let’s take a look at Korea a few years ago. The thing that I really like in Korea is that how government and people respect and try to save their history. And they do it in a very unique and creative way. One of the examples is Donuimun Museum Village, which was officially opened in 2015 (If I am not mistaken).
Donuimun was the main gate of the west Hanyang city wall which was first built in 1396 but then was closed in 1413 because of the damage of Gyeongbokgung Palace.
Then the gate was renamed to New Saemun and the area inside it was called Saemunangol or Saemunan district.
In 1915 during the Japanese rule, Donuimun was demolished in order to expand the road.
From the 1960s the individual houses were renovated into tutorial rooms and prestigious schools, so that area was associated with private education. But later these schools were moved to the Gangnam area.
In the 1990s, many houses were transformed into restaurants.
When most of the buildings were demolished, it was decided to create a small park here. However, the Seoul government wanted to remember the history and importance of that area, so they decided to build a Donuimun Museum Village.
Briefly about the Donuimun Museum Village
The Village is located in the center of Seoul, and it is surrounded by modern buildings. Here in the village, we can learn how people in Korea lived in the 50s’, 60s’, 70s… until today. We can see how that area has changed during the past centuries.
The main purpose of the village is to save the history of the Saemunan area
Also, it is possible to feel the Korean culture by doing some crafts by yourself, trying on Korean dresses, playing old games, etc.
So, let’s go inside the village and take a walk around it.
And there is No Entry Fee!
The village is not a closed area, it is opened one. It is like an ordinary village, so you can enter from any side. But of course, there is the main entrance too. And if you enter the village from the main entrance, you can find the information office, where you can get all the necessary information about the village.
Also, today due to Covid-19 you need to pass by that office to leave your data and to check your temperature. After that you will get a sticker, so you can easily enter any building inside the village.
Each building in the village is dedicated to a particular topic. It can be a historical museum, it can be an installation of a Korean house of 50s-90s, it can be a barber store, a game hall, etc.
Some of the buildings tell about the life of particular people. Also, I liked that they show the photos of different cafes, stores before the reconstruction and after. They showed what was at that place before.
Look at that construction layout (I am not sure how do people really call it). It is really painstaking work. Each tiny piece of the layout looks real.https://www.youtube.com/embed/XwZzAfMBGss
Also, there was a house of one couple, and a woman was treating people there. So there were different traditional medical kinds of stuff.
Try by yourself
As I already said there are different experience programs in the village too. You can not just look at the history, you can try it, experience it, feel it. You can try Korean traditional paper crafting, drawing, calligraphy, musical instruments, etc.
One of the most popular experience programs is Life in Seoul. You can teleport back to the 50s-90s and learn how people lived at that time. You can see with your own eyes on Korean houses, try on their clothes, touch their home appliances, etc.
Besides the regular exhibitions, there are also temporal ones. And they are very different. It can be an art exhibition, it can be a book exhibition, etc. You can check the current exhibitions in the information office or on the official website.
Most of the buildings in the village remind traditional Korean houses. So it is nice even just to walk along the tiny streets.
The official website of the village: www.dmvillage.info