Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Few Random Posts on Seoul II - Seoul Railway Station

It appears that the old railway station in Seoul, which is adjacent to the new and more modern one, is undergoing a refurbishment at the moment. It’s a classic piece of Japanese-style imperial architecture that wouldn’t be out of place anywhere else in the former Japanese empire such as Dalian (see earlier posts and pics). It was originally built to serve the line between Seoul and Uiju and Seoul and Wonsan and had a strategic use – i.e. to ferry troops towards the invasion of China.

Construction of the two storey station (there’s also a floor below ground too) designed by Tsukamoto Yasushi of Tokyo Imperial University began in 1922 of mixed stone and brick and was finally completed in 1925. It was originally known as the Keijo Station Building and renamed Seoul Station in 1947.

The pictures here show the station as it would have originally appeared although later northern and southern terminals were added in the 1960s to allow for additional capacity. This is apparently the oldest surviving railway station in Korea.

Before this building there had been a previous station which opened in 1900 as Gyeongseong Station and was renamed Namdaemun Station in 1905, due to its proximity to the Namdaemun Gate.

In 1910, the name of the city (Seoul) was changed from Hanseong to Gyeongseong (Keijo in Japanese) by the Japanese imperialists. The station reverted to the name Gyeongseong Station in 1915.

There is a small museum and gallery attached but both it and the rest of the building was closed last weekend when I visited for what appears to be a general tarting up.

A Few Random Posts on Seoul I - The Dongdaemun Gate


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