Myeongdong Catholic Cathedral
Myeong-dong Cathedral, situated in the heart of downtown Seoul, is both the Cathedral Church for the Archdiocese of Seoul and has become a symbol of the presence of the Catholic Church in Korea.
In 1784, the first faith community in Korea gathered in this place which was then known as Myeong-Nae-Bang.
In 1894, Father Coste began planning for the construction of the church, and on May 29, 1898, the Church was consecrated with Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception as its patron.
In 1900 the relics of the martyrs who had died in the persecutions of 1839 and 1866 were moved from Yong-San seminary to the crypt in Myeong-dong Cathedral.
In 1942 the frist Korean parish priest, Fr. Rhee Ki-Jun, was appointed pastor of Myeong-dong, and the first Korean Bishop Rho Ki-Nam was raised to the episcopate there.
On Liberation Day, 1945, the name of the Cathedral was changed from Chong-Hyen to Myeong-dong. In the 1970’s and 1980’s, Myeong-dong Cathedral became a focal point for the democratic movement in Korea and has played an important role in the expansion of human rights.
Currently, Myeong-dong Cathedral continues to reach out to the global community with prayer and missionary work. Myeong-dong Cathedral is the first brick church in Korea built in the Gothic style. Designated historic spot No. 258, the Myeong-dong Church has significant historical value embedded in its architecture. The floor plan of the church is Latin cross with a center and two side aisles, and the roof of the church is 23 meters in height. The bell tower is 45 meters tall. The architecture retains the pure Gothic style without adornments.