The Jeoldusan Martyrs Shrine, a symbol of Korean Catholicism
Jeoldusan Mountain is located near the Hangang River in Hapjeong-dong, where the Gangbyeonbukno meets Subway Line 2. Also referred to as Jamdubong (literally meaning “silkworm head” in English), as it is said to look like a silkworm raising its head high, Jeoldusan used be a famous place in the east of Yanghwajin, a port on the Hangang River. At the end of the Joseon period (1392-1910), when anti-Catholic persecution reached its peak, thousands of Catholics were killed here, earning the mountain the name Jeoldu (literally meaning “to cut off the head” in English). In order to preserve the symbolism of the site, the Korean Catholic Church held a public contest to choose the design of a church to be established on the mountain, with the requirement that the design preserves the original state of the lot. Finally, a design by the Korean architect Lee Hui-Tae, who was active in designing Catholic churches at that time, was chosen.
The site of Yanghwanaru and Jamdubong was designated as Historical Site No. 399 in 1997. The church consists of only the space necessary for the church to fulfill its function, without any unnecessary facilities or decorations.
The Catholic Church and the museum on Jeoldusan Mountain are cultural heritages that retain the tragic history of Catholicism in Korea.