Last week I made my first visit to the absolutely huge National Museum of Korea right in the heart of Seoul.
I’ll admit, I’m not the biggest fan of museums. I’ve been to quite a few, and usually I lose interest quickly. I guess the exhibits just weren’t interesting enough for me. It’s bitterly cold in Seoul, so a museum sounded like a good (warm) choice to get myself out of the house even if it wouldn’t normally be my first choice.
I wasn’t expecting much, but this museum is massive! I found myself getting abnormally excited just from checking out the huge grounds outside of the museum. When I say huge, I really mean huge. There is a very large lake surrounded by many areas to lounge and take pictures with a beautifully natural background. It had it’s own appeal, even in the winter. Flowers were strangely vacant in the pots outside, instead there were purple/green cabbage and stacks of hay. Right in front of the entrance are stairs that give you a rather spectacular view of the surrounding area and Namsan Tower.
The second floor holds a huge gallery spanning eleven rooms that features donated items. I was really surprised and happy to see an impressive mix of things. It was interesting to see the types of things that people collected over the years and to read about their reasons for doing so. There was a huge furniture collection in particular that caught my eye. Old school woodwork maintained by someone who loved the craft!
Of course, there were some drawbacks to my visit… the most glaring being the lack of functioning escalators! Is this a Korean thing? I’m always running into broken escalators here, especially in subway stations. Another thing that was a let down was the house set up from the Joseon era. It wasn’t lit well and it was completely surrounded by glass, so the glare was horrible from the brightly lit display across from it. I could barely see anything, which was such a shame because a house set up like that is one of the most interesting things in the museum to me! I was really looking forward to it.
I had so many pictures from this visit. In fact, I had over 200! Can you imagine my agony cutting it down to eighteen for this blog post? There were just so many things that I wanted to share, and I didn’t even finish my visit. Nobody wants to see that many pictures on a blog post, so I hope that you have the chance to go see the National Museum of Korea yourself! 🙂