Seodaemun Independence Park

Northern Seoul

Apart from the former prison, this park, dedicated to those who fought for Korean independence, also features Dongnimmun, an impressive granite archway modelled after the Arc de Triomphe. Built by the Independence Club in 1898, it stands where envoys from Chinese emperors used to be officially welcomed to Seoul.

A tribute of gold, tiger skins, green tea, ginseng, horses, swords, ramie cloth, straw mats and eunuchs would be handed over by the Koreans. This ritual symbolised Chinese suzerainty over Korea, which only ended when King Gojong declared himself an emperor in 1897.