Permanent Exhibition

[Overview of the Administration and Security Office]

The building took care of overall business of the Seodaemun Prison. It was built in 1923, with 2 floors above ground and 1 below ground, On the first floor there were offices for clerks, on the second there was the Warden’s Office and a meeting room, while the basement floor was used as an interrogation room. The roof of the front building was made to be high and magnificent by the Japanese colonial power to create a sense of intimidation among the public. At the time of construction, only the middle part of the building had two floors, both sides had two floors with white tiles on the exterior walls in 1959. These tiles were removed, and the building was restored in 2010. The gray cement marks on the walls are the trace of detaching those tiles. Currently, it displays the synoptic history of the Seodaemun Prison, including the expansion of Seodaemun Prison during the Japanese Empire and anti-Japanese independence movement, according to the flow of time. It showcases history from the period that it opened as Gyeongseong Prison by the Japanese Empire by 1908 to the period that it was used as Seoul Detention Center in 1987.

  • Prison History Room

    It exhibits records and videos of introduction of the judicial system, installation and expansion of national prisons including Seodaemun Prison, and the restoration process after the prison was moved to Seoul Detention Center in 1987.
  • National Resistance Room I

    This room exhibits the relics related to anti-Japanese independence activists imprisoned in Seodaemun Prison from the end of the Daehan Empire to the First Independence Movement in March 1919.
  • National Resistance Room II

    This room is used in memory of 4,857 political offenders imprisoned in Seodaemun Prison and exhibits the records of their imprisonment.
  • National Resistance Room III

    This room exhibits the independence movements from the 1920s to the liberation in 1945 related to Seodaemun Prison, and displays models of the morgue in the underground of Execution Building.
  • Underground Interrogation Room

    In this room, newly arrived prisoners would change their clothes and undergo a physical checkup, and followed by interrogation prosecutors sent from Japan. Nowadays, it displays relics of the tortures done in the process of interrogating independence activists and the voice testimony of independence activists who survived.

(03732) Seodaemun Prison History Center, 251 Tongil-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul  TEL. 82-2-360-8590

ID number 110-82-10311  Personal Information Protection Manager KIM Kyung-mi

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