Center of Catholicism in Seoul

Myeongdong Cathedral

서울 명동성당

Myeongdong Cathedral is one of Korea’s most important and historical religious sites, having long been regarded as both the spiritual center of Korean Catholicism and an important hub of political activity. Designed by French missionaries and built by Chinese bricklayers, Myeongdong Cathedral was the first Gothic style church to be constructed in Korea. The construction of the cathedral took 6 years and was completed in 1898, with the main tower reaching 45 meters (147 feet) high, which at the time was the tallest building in Korea.

Catholicism first came to Korea in the late 18th-century, although it became heavily persecuted by the government of the Joseon Dynasty in the 19th-century, culminating in the execution of over 8000 Catholic converts, including nine French missionaries. These people were designated martyrs by the Catholic Church and were enshrined in Myeongdong Cathedral after its completion. 

The cathedral also played in incredibly important role in the South Korean democratization movement in the 1970s and 1980s, protecting political activists and hosting various protests and hunger strikes against the military dictatorship. Many political activities continue to take place at the cathedral today, with a heavy focus on social justice issues. Myeongdong Cathedral still maintains great religious and political importance, with many Koreans gathering here for Christmas Mass, demonstrations, and to spend time in its underground Gallery 1898 arcade, home to a small number of boutique shops, cafes, and restaurants. 


Company NameMyeongdong Cathedral (서울 명동성당)
Category Others Services
URLs Homepage
Languages Available English
Opening Hours06:30 - 21:00
[English Sunday Mass] 09:00
[English Confession] 06:30 - 09:00, before Sunday Mass

Myeongdong-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea 74 Myeongdong-gil

Take Line 4 to Myeongdong Station and go out Exit 8. -> Turn left and Walk straight for about 200 meters. -> Turn right on Myeongdong-gil and walk straight for about 100 meters. Myeongdong Cathedral will be on your right. Take Line 2 to Euljiro 1-ga Station and go out Exit 5-> Walk straight about 180 meters to the third alley. -> Turn left at the alley and walk straight 150 meters. The entrance to Myeongdong Cathedral will be in front of you.

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