Seoul - South Korea - Asia
Seoul Myeongdong Catholic Cathedral
It was the first Roman Catholic parish built in the Republic of Korea, in the capital city of Seoul.
Built during the Joseon era, under the supervision of the French Catholic priest Eugene Coste.
Land for the building was purchased in 1883, and Emperor Gojong held the ceremony of laying the first stone in 1892.
However, because of the First Sino-Japanese War, and the subsequent death of father Coste, the inauguration of the cathedral was postponed until May of 1898, when it was finally baptized and consecrated to the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin.
The initial name of Jonghyeon Cathedral was changed to commemorate the 1945 liberation from Imperial Japan and changed to the present Myeongdong Cathedral.
Korea first came into contact with Catholicism during the Joseon era, when the Group of Northerly Scholars obtained Chinese Catholic manuscripts while pursuing their studies in China.
Catholicism was at first introduced as an academic novelty, but later began gaining ground as a belief with the arrival of French missionaries.
The Korean catholic's refusal to observe ancestor worship and their denial of nobility (initially the Korean Catholics interpreted Catholicism as the belief in the equality of all men) led to subsequent persecutions and the execution of French missionaries, the event of which was the issue of content over a brief war with France.
Today the structure is well over a hundred years old and serves as the national symbol of Korean Catholicism.
For a more information about Myeongdong Cathedral see Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This page was retrieved and condensed from (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myeongdong_Cathedral) see Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, February 2008.
All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License (see Copyrights for details).
This information was correct in February 2008. E. & O.E.
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