[ggc guide 2] Paju_Odusan Unification Observatory

Witnessing unification through a telescope

Odusan Unification Observatory is located at the northernmost part of the western front where the branch of Hangang River, which reaches Seoul, and Imjingang River from the north meet. It is a notable security tourist attraction of Paju established in 1992 to soothe the sorrow of displaced families who miss their hometowns and, for those who did not experience the Korean War, to understand the history of the division as well as the North Korean culture. Standing only 2 km away from the north with Imjingang River in front, I understand the reality of the division that cannot be touched though within sight.

Odusan Mountain was named for its similarity to the head of a crow when it is seen from afar. Odusanseong Fortress built at the top of the mountain was historically a military strategic point as its slopes are steep and it is surrounded by water on three sides. The Unification Observatory situated at the peak of 118m-high Odusan Mountain appears at the end of the steep hilly path, which can also be climbed by free shuttle buses that operate at 20-minute intervals from the Tongil Dongsan parking lot.

Once you step into the entrance on the hill, the statue of Mr. Cho Man-sik, an independence fighter, as well as Unification Wish Drum that people can strike themselves on special days such as holidays and National Liberation Day, and Mangbaedan where rituals are held to soothe the sorrows of displaced people are found outside the observatory. On the 1st floor, various planned exhibitions are hosted to education in the history and future of the North-South division, and the theater on the 2nd floor plays films related to North Korea for people to understand more about the country in the aspects of the residents’ life, political ideas, culture, and arts. Meanwhile, the exhibition hall displays about 4,000 drawings of North Korea painted by displaced people themselves, and the outdoor observatory is where you may hold the looks of the north in your own eyes through a telescope. The 3rd and 4th floors feature glass windows from the floor to the ceiling through which the panoramic view of Imjingang, extensive plains and green mountains unfolds before you. You can watch videos on the topography, soldiers and residents of North Korea on the 3rd floor, and may visit an observation lounge and a café on the 4th floor where you can enjoy simple snacks and teas.

In addition, various experience facilities await children on the underground floor. Here, programs to experience the ecosystem of DMZ through animals in the forest have been prepared and an animated film with the setting of the Korean War is played, allowing the kids to think about the unification in a more playful, comfortable atmosphere.

Written and photos by Park Hee-eun

Website jmd.co.kr

#Gyeonggi-do #Paju #ggcguide #Odusan Unification Observatory

@Park Hee-eun

    • Odusan Unification Observatory

      Address/ 369, Pilseung-ro Tanhyeon-myeon, Paju-si, Gyeonggi-do

      Contact/ 031-945-3171

      Hours of operation / March-October: 09:00-17:00 (09:00-18:00 on weekends and holidays) November-February: 09:00-16:30 (09:00-17:00 on weekends and holidays)

      Closed on / Mondays (In case Monday is a holiday, it is closed on the following day)

      Admission/ Adults: 3,000 KRW, Students: 1,600 KRW, Senior citizens and kindergarten children: Free

      Extra/ Viewing guide programs are run twice a day on weekends (1st at 13:00, 2nd at 15:00)

      Website/ jmd.co.kr

  • ggc

    Writer/ 경기문화재단

    About/ 경기문화예술의 모든 것, 경기문화재단

  • ggc

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