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Wednesday, 2 August 2017

National Lighthouse Museum of Korea

By Jaedong Jang

Lighthouses have greatly contributed to maritime safety and the protection of the marine environment in Korea since the moment that the first modern lighthouse was built at Palmi-do Island in Incheon in June 1903, in the period of the Korean Empire (1897-1910).

However, as historic lighthouses and related equipment have been disappearing due to the industrial modernization and technical development, the National Lighthouse Museum was opened, which is located nearby Homigot Lighthouse designated as Gyeongsangbuk-do Regional Monument NO.39 (lit on Dec, 1908), to preserve these important assets and exhibit them as a lighthouse heritage for future generations.

The National Lighthouse Museum has about 1 million visitors every year, and the Museum utilizes its spaces for the study and preservation of the historical records and exhibits.

In addition, it has a role as a cultural complex to offer maritime experiences and educations satisfying visitor′s various demands. It has three main permanent exhibition halls (Heritage Hall, Lighthouse History Hall and Experience Hall) and four Annexes, Theme Park and Outdoor Exhibition Field. It possesses 3,913 maritime items, 416 of which are on display.

1. History of the Museum

The History of Aids to Navigation in Korea

From old days, torch, signal fires, and gongs were used as Aids to Navigation for ships’ safe sailing to their destinations. In late 1800's, as the sailing became more frequent due to the advance of the western ships to the east and the opening of Busan, Incheon and Wonsan ports, our country also realized the need to install the systematic Aids to Navigation.

In 1894, Gongmuamun Dungchoonguk (Communication Department) began to take charge of and made a master plan for the investigation of locations for lighthouses’ construction and established Haekwan Dungdaeguki (Maritime Lighthouse Center) on March, 1902. From May of the same year, they started to build Palmi-do, Sowolmi-do lighthouse and Bukjangjaseo, Baekam dungpyo at the entrance of the Incheon port.

The History of National Lighthouse Museum

Aids to Navigation played a great role in the industrialization of Korea. But old facilities and equipment related to it have been disappearing gradually in accordance with the change of the time. Considering this, we opened the nation-only lighthouse museum to preserve all the artifacts and inform the importance of Aids to Navigation to the public by instilling love of the ocean. The museum was opened on 7 February 1985 at Homigot where Homigot Lighthouse (Gyeongangbuk-do Monument, No.39), having high historic value, is located.

The History of the Museum

1985. 02.07.
Opened the Janggigap Lighthouse Museum
(Gyeongsangbuk-do Youngil-gun)
1986. 04.18.
Designated as the Class 2 Museum
(Ministry of Culture and Public Information No. 13.)
1993. 03.25
Registered as the Class 1 Museum
(Ministry of Culture and Tourism No.42.)
1995. 07.01.
Transferred the management of Museum
(Pohang-Si to Pohang Regional Maritime Affairs and Port Office)
1995. 10.25.
Re-named to the Janggigot Lighthouse Museum
1996 - 2001. 08.24.
Finished the extension of the Museum
2002. 04.19.
Re-opened as the National Lighthouse Museum
2005. 01.01.
Consigned the management of the Museum to a private sector
(Pohang Regional Maritime Affairs and Port Office to Korea Association of Aids to Navigation)
2011. 01.01.
Consigned the management of the Museum to a private sector
(Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs to Korea Association of Aids to Navigation)
2011. 12.24.
Re-modeled the display facilities in the Heritage Hall
2013. 03.23.
Consigned the management of the Museum to a private sector
(Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries to Korea Association of Aids to Navigation)
2013. 08.23.
Constructed the Experience Hall
2016. 03.02.
Inaugurated the fifth Director JANG, Jae-dong for the National Lighthouse Museum
2016. 07.07.
Re-modeled the display facilities in the Lighthouse History Hall

2. Heritage Hall

Heritage Hall consists of three main sections, Navigational Aids Relics displays historically valuable Fresnel Lenses, Lamps and Aids to Navigation items with no further use today, Lighthouse Archives exhibits documents and references such as books, drawings, nameplates etc, Lighthouse Keeper′s Life shows the past, present and future of the Lighthouse Keeper’s daily life through a uniform, virtual reality diorama, lighthouse diaries, photos and items necessary for daily life.

3. History Hall

Beginning of Voyage explains how people opened up waterways and developed civilization from ancient times to the age of exploration by panel, Lighthouse History explains the evolution process of lighthouse engineering and changes to the system for Aids to Navigation both in Korea and around the world and Lighthouse Architecture shows structural features and the beauty of lighthouses through interactive multimedia, panels and lighthouse miniatures in three dimensions. Additionally, its second floor has a gallery where visitors can take a rest and enjoy the open sea view.

4. Experience Hall

An Analog Experience Section (1st Floor) and a Digital Experience Section (2nd Floor) help visitors to understand the concept of Aids to Navigation and the Scientific Principles applied into diverse miniatures and IT devices.

5. Outdoor Exhibition Field & Theme Park
Various kinds of Aids to Navigation facilities such as famous lighthouse miniatures, lantern rooms, buoys, antennas for the radio beacon and the IALA symbolic statue are put on display coordinately with East Sea.

6. Tour Information
Closed only
Every Monday, The Lunar New Year's Day, The Korean Thanksgiving Day.
Admission Fee
20, Haemaji-ro 150 bean-gil, Homigot-myeon, Nam-gu, Pohang-si,
Gyeongsangbuk-do, 37928, Republic of Korea
+82- 54-284-4857/ +82-54-284-4859

Note. Please contact us if you visit with this newsletter, which will entitle you to various benefits such as a free guide, souvenirs and a stay at our quarters according to your advance reservation. Send us a message if you are interested.

The location of the Museum:

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