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Myeongdong Cathedral

Dating back to the late 1800s, this Gothic church is the final resting place of martyrs and offers a pleasant respite from Seoul’s hectic streets. 

Myeongdong Cathedral is a revered place of worship and an influential symbol of Christianity in Korea. Visit this church to experience the spirituality and kindheartedness of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Seoul and to admire its arresting architectural design. Established in 1898, Myeongdong Cathedral was the first brick church in Korea built in the Gothic style. It stands on the site of a place where religious groups had been gathering since 1784. 

Approach the cathedral via a series of staircases leading to a broad cobblestone courtyard and offering excellent views of the Gothic-style edifice. Rising above the main portal is a 148-foot-tall (45-meter) bell and clock tower. Wander around the perimeter to see multiple instances of arch windows, pilasters, rose windows and spires. At the rear of the building is a memorial statue of Kim Tae-gon Andrew, the first Korean-born Catholic priest and one of the nation’s first martyrs. 

The interior is a simple yet masterful work of art. It features a long nave that leads to the main altar, with a vaulted ceiling and arcades on either side of the aisle. Above the main entrance is a huge pipe organ. Study the stained-glass windows, which portray characters and scenes from the Bible. 

Beneath the main altar visit a crypt that stores the relics of Korean martyrs. They were fatalities of religious persecutions in the 1800s. Among them is Laurent Joseph Marius Imbert, who was a French bishop working in Asia. Pope John Paul II canonized these and other martyrs during his 1984 visit to Korea. 

Find the cathedral in the Myeongdong neighborhood of central Seoul. Get here by taking the metro to Euljiro 1-ga, Euljiro 3-ga or Myeong-dong station and then continue on foot. Surrounding the cathedral is a busy shopping district home to department stores, luxury fashion boutiques and restaurants. 

Myeongdong Cathedral is open daily and admission is free. Attend Mass services in English on Sundays. Christmas Eve attracts a huge congregation for its Midnight Mass service.


Guide to Exploring around Myeongdong Cathedral


Map

Best Lodging Options Near Myeongdong Cathedral

See all 1,940 Properties near Myeongdong Cathedral
Sotetsu Fresa Inn Seoul Myeong-dong ¥6,656
Sotetsu Fresa Inn Seoul Myeong-dong

Sotetsu Fresa Inn Seoul Myeong-dong

48, Myeongdong-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul
     
    3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Myeongdong, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Myeongdong Street and Lotte Department Store. Namsan Park and Seoul City Hall are also within 10 minutes. Myeong-dong Station is only a 4-minute walk and Euljiro 1-ga Station is 6 minutes.

    Lotte Hotel Seoul ¥17,248
    Lotte Hotel Seoul

    Lotte Hotel Seoul

    30, Eulji-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul, Seoul
       
      5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      This family-friendly Seoul hotel is located in the business district, within a 5-minute walk of Seoul City Hall and Lotte Department Store. Deoksugung Palace and Cheonggyecheon are also within 10 minutes. Euljiro 1-ga Station is only a 2-minute walk and City Hall Station is 5 minutes.

      Hotel Venue G ¥4,608
      Hotel Venue G

      Hotel Venue G

      117, Cheonggyecheon-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
         
        3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Jongno, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Cheonggyecheon, Myeongdong Street, and Lotte Department Store. Jogyesa Temple and Seoul City Hall are also within 1 mi (2 km). Jongno 3-ga Station and Euljilo 3-ga Station are within a 5-minute walk.

        ENA Suite Hotel Namdaemun ¥9,164
        ENA Suite Hotel Namdaemun

        ENA Suite Hotel Namdaemun

        36, Sejong-daero 11-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul, Seoul
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Jung-gu, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Sungnyemun Gate and Deoksugung Palace. Cheonggye Plaza and Dongdaemun History and Culture Park are also within 3 mi (5 km). City Hall Station is 6 minutes by foot and Seoul Station is 11 minutes.

          Solaria Nishitetsu Hotel Seoul Myeongdong ¥10,886
          Solaria Nishitetsu Hotel Seoul Myeongdong

          Solaria Nishitetsu Hotel Seoul Myeongdong

          27 Myeong-dong 8-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul, Seoul
             
            3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Myeongdong, this hotel is steps from Myeongdong Nanta Theatre and Myeongdong Street. Namsan Park and Lotte Department Store are also within 10 minutes. Myeong-dong Station is only a 3-minute walk and Euljiro 1-ga Station is 8 minutes.

            Lotte City Hotel Myeongdong ¥10,266
            Lotte City Hotel Myeongdong

            Lotte City Hotel Myeongdong

            362, Samil-daero, Jung-gu, Seoul
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Myeongdong, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Seoul City Hall, Namdaemun Market, and Gwanghwamun. Gyeongbok Palace is 1.3 mi (2 km) away. Euljilo 3-ga Station is 6 minutes by foot and Euljiro 1-ga Station is 8 minutes.

              L7 Myeongdong by LOTTE ¥11,462
              L7 Myeongdong by LOTTE

              L7 Myeongdong by LOTTE

              137 Toegye-ro Jung-gu, Seoul
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Myeongdong, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Myeongdong Nanta Theatre, Namsan Park, and Myeongdong Street. Namdaemun Market and Sungnyemun Gate are also within 15 minutes. Myeong-dong Station is only a 2-minute walk and Chungmuro Station is 8 minutes.

                Sejong Hotel ¥8,600
                Sejong Hotel

                Sejong Hotel

                145, Toegye-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul, Seoul
                   
                  4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Myeongdong, this luxury hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Namsan Park, N Seoul Tower, and Dongdaemun History and Culture Park. Gyeongbok Palace and War Memorial of Korea are also within 3 mi (5 km). Myeong-dong Station is only a 3-minute walk and Chungmuro Station is 6 minutes.