The National Museum of Korea
The public museum tradition in Seoul goes back to the beginning of the twentieth century. The National Museum was established in 1945, coincident with the end of Japanese occupation. As it grew over the rest of the century it required more space. The new site is on a former golf course, which was part of Central Command of the U.S. Forces stationed in Korea - the Yongsan Garrison. The U.S. returned a large part of this land to the Korean government in 1992, which lead to the creation of the Yongsan Family Park.
The Museum was relocated to this present site in 2005, and stands as a remarkable edifice to house over 310,000 art and cultural items from Korea’s past, with 15,000 on display at any one time. Based on floor space, it is the sixth largest museum in the world, and since it’s opening in 2005 has hosted nearly 25 million visitors.
The open grounds surrounding the Museum lead toward a more sheltered, wooded area that literally allows strollers to transcend the noise and business of the city. This in turn opens up into a large family park designed to encourage a variety of activity, and is well used by Seoul citizens.