I love museums. Great, great times. But, well…I’ve been in Korea for two months and haven’t been to one yet. Been a bit lazy, I guess. Last weekend, my friend Mike and I finally decided to go to what we heard was one of the best: the War Memorial Museum.
Now, this place was cool and was far from just a Korean War museum. In fact, it basically detailed the entire history of Korea from way-back-when up until right now. Unfortunately, as I learned touring the mammoth place, Korea has had a pretty tumultuous history – location, location, location! Seriously, all about the location. They are perched directly between the powerhouses that are Japan and China, as well as being directly south of what was the USSR. And, as it turns out, all of these guys at one point laid waste to the tiny, mountainous country which, eventually, lead to the Korea War.
Now, I didn’t know much about the Korean War, as we Americans have a tendency to focus more on the Vietnam War, but this thing was bad. Very, very bad. I won’t go into details here, but if you want to know more, here’s a great link.
So, the museum was set up nicely, taking you from the start of Korean civilization (showcasing some great stone tools and such) up to the present with tons of miniatures and models (my favorite parts), as well as a cache of real-life jets and tanks and things sitting outside. There was also a special exhibit of the Dead Sea Scrolls touring (my main reason for wanting to go). This was really, really cool, but unfortunately we weren’t allowed to take any pictures of the ancient documents. I actually missed (by like a week) seeing the scrolls while in England, so it was good to finally see them – and worth it, in my opinion, for any history buff.
Anyway, here’s some pics. They’re pretty self-explanatory.And there was also this really cool “chamber” that was actually a giant monument to every fallen Korean soldier…ever. It’s really grand and artsy and operatic and boy, oh boy does your voice echo in there. Here’s a vid: