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Tapgol Park

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The main gate of Tapgol Park
The stone pagoda of Wongaksa in Tapgol Park
  • Established: 1890s
  • Korean: 塔골公園 (Tapgol Gongwon)

Tapgol Park is a public park in Seoul, closely associated with the early 20th century anti-Japanese independence movement.

Established sometime in the 1890s, probably at the suggestion of Inspector General of Customs John McLeavy Brown, the park began as a fenced-in but largely empty area, with some trees planted and benches placed, on the former site of Wongaksa (built 1465). The park was formally opened to the public in 1913, and six years later, on 1 May 1919, it became the site of the beginning of the May First Independence Movement. Four or five thousand students gathered at the park on that day, and chanted independence slogans, later sounding a siren and reading a Declaration of Independence at Palgakjeong, a short distance north of the park.

The park was restored and expanded in 1979, and though previously known as Tapdong or Pagoda Park, it was renamed Tapgol Park in 1991. The ten-story stone pagoda of Wongaksa Temple, and a monument associated with the temple (National Treasures #2 and #3) still stand in the park today, along with several monuments to the independence movement.

References

  • Plaques on-site.[1]
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