When the Joseon Kingdom opened to Japan and the West in the late nineteenth century, one neighborhood of Seoul began to grow in importance as foreign diplomats and missionaries settled there: Jeong-dong. As it became a center of foreign diplomatic power and missionary-run churches and modern schools, it was even chosen as the location of the new main palace, Deoksugung, in the hope that the Western powers would protect Gojong, now a self-declared emperor, from the Japanese. When these hopes turned out to be in vain and Korea fell under Japanese control in the wake of the Russo-Japanese War (1904-05), power shifted to a new location: the new Japanese military base in Yongsan. Yongsan Garrison today hosts the US military, but, as in Jeong-dong, architectural remnants of Korea's tumultuous modern history still remain.
On this excursion we will meet in front of Deoksugung Palace from where we will explore the Jeong-dong's rich early modern history. After a visit to the Anglican church we will – if conditions permit - visit the British Embassy to see the ambassador's residence and former British Legation, which has stood for more than 120 years. After a visit to the Seoul Museum of Art, which is housed in the colonial era-built former Korean Supreme Court building, we will learn about the missionary influence upon the neighborhood. We will visit the Baejae Hakdang, a missionary-run boys' school educated many of Korea's future elite, now restored as a museum; the Jeong-dong First Methodist Church; and Ewha Girl's High School, the first school for girls in Korea, and also the site of one of Korea's earliest foreign-run hotels, the Songtag Hotel. From there we will visit the restored Jungmyeongjeon Hall, which was built as a royal library but is best known for being the place where the Eulsa Treaty, which the Japanese used to deprive Korea of its diplomatic sovereignty, was signed in 1905. Other stops will include the remains of the former Russian Legation and the beautiful colonial home where independence activist Kim Ku was assassinated in 1949.
The excursion will set off from Daehanmun, the front gate of Deoksugung Palace, (subway line number 1, dark blue line, or 2, green line, City Hall Station #132, exit 2) at 1:00 pm.
Deadline to register: (preferably) on or before Wednesday, May 27, 2015.
PLEASE RESERVE SPACE ON Jeongdong, SUNDAY, May 31, 2015, FOR THE FOLLOWING:
NAME_____________________________ MEMBER________ NONMEMBER_________
NAME_____________________________ MEMBER________ NON-MEMBER_________
PHONE NO. (MOBILE) ______________________ (OFFICE / HOME) __________________
Upon confirmation, please make a payment to the following account: Shinhan Bank Account #100-026-383501 (RAS-KB)