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Friday, March 13, 2015

[Jeonju] Jeondong Catholic Cathedral

The Jeondong Catholic Cathedral in Jeonju is located right on the edge of the Hanok Village and is definitely worth a visit.


The Jeondong Catholic Church has a pretty interesting history and background. It is one of the oldest Catholic churches in Korea and is, arguably, one of the most beautiful. In fact, it is Korean National Treasure Number 288.


It was built to honor the Catholic martyrs of the Chosun Dynasty. During the Chosun Dynasty, Catholicism was banned in Korea. It was designed by the same person, Father Poinel, who designed the Myungdong Cathedral and is a mix of the architectural styles of the Byzantine and Romanesque eras.

It was originally built at the site where the martyrs lost their lives, Pungnam Mun Gate, but was later moved to its current location.

In addition to having a beautiful exterior, the interior of the Cathedral is also quite nice. I do not have a picture because I do not feel it proper to take a picture inside a place of worship. Just trust me and have a look for yourself!

Behind the Cathedral, there is a memorial to the Chosun Dynasty martyrs.

Take advantage of the FREE Jeonju shuttle bus from Seoul!




Location:
Across the street from Gyeonggijeon Shrine.

Recommended travel books:

If you are traveling to Korea, while English is often available on signs and at tourist destinations, it may be wise to know a few phrases since oftentimes the staff at restaurants and other tourist destinations, bus stations, do not know English well. I have looked over multiple Korean phrasebooks and I recommend the Lonely Planet Korean Phrasebook & Dictionary for its small size (makes it great to carry around) and its ease of use.



If you are planning on staying only in Seoul, I would recommend getting a travel book that is solely about Seoul. Top 10 Seoul (Eyewitness Top 10 Travel Guide)is great! It has color photos, great maps, and is also very compact, making it a great travel companion.
It gives you a feel of all the different neighborhoods and districts of Seoul and a brief overview of what each district is known and how the  city is laid out to help you plan the most efficient and fun trip!



I definitely recommend, if you get the chance, to get out of Seoul and really explore Korea. Each province and city has its own feel and personality. Plus, the country is about the size of Indiana and transportation options abound, so traveling around is definitely do-able.



Choosing the best country guide was a little more difficult for me. I am typically a Lonely Planet fan, but I found their guide to not be quite as current as this Frommer's guide.

Having an up-to-date guide is very important in Korea since things can literally change overnight!  

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