Site of the Student Independence Movement, “Seungdong Church”
If you walk from Tapgol Park through the small alleys toward the entrance of Insa-dong, you will find Seungdong Church, which was a main building in the area before the street became known as Insa-dong. Though it is now overshadowed by skyscrapers, it was once a magnificent monument erected against the backdrop of Bukhansan Mountain. Through an expansion project to increase the number of seats near the main gate, the round and arched windows at the facade of the church were removed, and the two entrances were combined into one. Though it has lost much of its original form through such modifications, the main building has been designated as a Tangible Cultural Property of Seoul Metropolitan City for its historical value as the starting place of the March 1st Independence Movement in 1919. At a time when there was strict discrimination between the nobles and commoners, Seungdong Church appointed a butcher, then the lowest social class, to the position of church elder, according to the spirit of Christianity, and such idealism was translated into the birth of the independence movement. Now, the church stands silently tall in Insa-dong, the street of Korean culture.