March 1 in Korea is March 1 Movement Day (삼일절, Sam-il Movement), and Tapgol Park is one of the best known symbols of the resistance against the Japanese occupation of Korea. It was here that the Declaration of Independence was first read publicly under the eight-sided Palgakjeong Pavilion. This sparked the historic March 1st Movement in 1919.
Tapgol Park (탑골 공원) is near Insadong. It contains bronze reliefs that tell the story of the March 1 Movement, has the Declaration of Independence posted in English, and honors those who led the movement with statues near the main entrance to the park. In the park is also the Wongaksa Pagoda, which is ten stories high, made of marble, and cconstructed in 1467 as part of Wongaksa temple.
We visited Tapgol Park twice during our fall 2017 visit to Seoul. The fall foliage in the park was beautiful. And the history nerd in me loved being in a place of such historical significance.
Manse! Manse! Manse! (만세)
Watch an Arirang TV report on the March 1 Movement:
Learn more about Yu Gwan-soon (유관순)
Learn more about Tapgol Park: