The 2-year restoration of Jeondong Cathedral is over. The screens that have fenced the cathedral are removed and the century-old cathedral still remains beautiful.
Jeondong Cathedral is located at the entrance of Jeonju Hanok Village. The cathedral is built on the site where martyrs were executed in the Joseon Dynasty. The building of the cathedral started in 1908. The outward appearance of the cathedral was completed in 1914. Built with red bricks, the cathedral is the first Romanesque-Byzantine style building in the region.
The cathedral was built with the stones and clay from the old walls of the Jeonju Castle. Around 100 Chinese workers made red bricks for the construction of the cathedral.
The stones from the walls became the foundation of the cathedral. Such use of the stone has been quite meaningful for the local Catholics, some of whom had been even executed in front of the walls since the 18th century.
Inside the cathedral is quite grand, but the red bricks also reminded me of the warmth.
I visited when the sunlight was hitting the stained-glass windows. It was magnificent.
Outside the cathedral, there are other red brick buildings on the premise. All these buildings are witnesses to the turbulent modern history of Korea. During the Korean War, the North Korean military turned the cathedral into a truck garage and the convent into a telegraph communication office.
When you visit Jeonju during your trip to Korea, start your walk around Jeonju Hanok Village from the historic and beautiful Jeondong Cathedral!
Address: Taejoro 51, Wansangu, Jeonju
Opening hours: weekdays and Saturdays 09:00~19:00 (~17:00 during winter) / Sundays 12:00~16:00
(Jeondong Cathedral is only open when there’s no mass)
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