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[Eye Plus] A stroll through Korea’s naval history

Since the early history of the Korean Peninsula, the Han River has served as a strategic waterway and was the center of a power struggle among the Three Kingdoms of Baekje, Silla and Goguryeo.

It was also near its banks that Joseon-era kings visited to observe the training of the nation’s Navy.

Seoul Battleship Park, located on the river’s northern bank in Mapo-gu, is the first shipbuilding theme park in Seoul, providing an ideal destination for family outings.

The 9,952-square-meter area features three retired naval vessels that are preserved in their original shape, as well as an information center and a multipurpose plaza.

What catches attention at first sight is the Frigate Seoul, a 1,900-ton escort vessel anchored laterally alongside the park. Built in 1984 using domestic technology, the vessel was retired after 30 years in service.

The Chamsuri, a 130-ton patrol vessel, took part in both the first and second battles of Yeonpyeong in the West Sea in 2002.

The 190-ton submarine on display right outside the information center was active from 1991 to 2016 and was mostly responsible for infiltration and patrols.

During the summer season from March to October, the facilities are open to the public from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and until 8 p.m. on weekends and holidays. In the winter season from November to February, closing time is 5 p.m. on weekdays and 6 p.m. on weekends and holidays.

Photograph by Park Hyun-koo
Written by Bae Hyun-jung