Do you have an interest in the culture and performing arts of Korea? Then visit the Marronnier Park (마로니에공원) in Hyehwa-dong, Seoul.
Marronnier Park is a public park in Seoul situated on where the the campus of Seoul National University used to be. It was named after a horse chestnut tree called marronnier as there are chestnut trees throughout the park. If you are in to arts, then you would definitely appreciate this park as it is dedicated to culture and arts in Korea. There are variety of outdoor performances in this park, especially pre-pandemic days. This park is also close to Ihwa Mural Village and Naksan Park.
Marronnier Park houses the Arko Arts Theater (아르코예술극장). This theater aims to promote performance art especially among the public. This arts theater also supports stages to pure art organizations with financial difficulties. It offers a large hall, small hall, multipurpose studio space, as well as practice room.
In addition to the Arts Theater, this park also has the Arko Art Center (아르코미술관). It is an exhibition facility included in Korea Arts & Culture Service which opened in May 1979. Its red brick building became an iconic symbol of Daehak-ro. If you see these red brick buildings in Seoul, you would know that you are already in Daehak-ro. When there were only few galleries in Korea, its exhibition hall of this art center was rented out to support art groups and individual artists. Now, it features a facility producing Korean contemporary art and offers experiential planned exhibitions and various educational programs. It also plays an important role in supporting rising artists. They provide support such as subsidiaries, archive and seminar rooms. There is also a project café which serves as a venue for conversation about arts.
At the Marronnier Park, you can also see the Seoul National University Monument. The Seoul National University is Korea’s first national university and one of the most important educational institutions in the country’s history. This site commemorates the home of Seoul National University from its inception in 1946 to 1975. During those years. the Dongsung-dong campus housed the University Headquarter, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the College of Law. In front of the campus flowed a small stream called the “Seine River.”
This park also has a playground that kids would love. That is why during weekends a lot of families with kids go this park to spend some meaningful time.
Moreover, you can also watch live outdoor performances at Marronnier Park. Before the pandemic happened, there are mime artists who entertain the visitors of the during weekends. Some people are also doing busking such as singing and dancing. There are exhibits too which showcase arts in various forms and media.
Furthermore, Marronnier Park is also a filming location of many Korean dramas. For example, in the Kdrama “About Time,” Lee Do-ha (Lee Sang-yoon) and his ex-girlfriend Kim Joon-ah (Kim Gyu-ri) talked about their past in this park near the Arko Arts Theater. While in “Revolutionary Love”, Baek Joon (Kang So-Ra) confessed here to Kwon Je-Hoon (Gong Myung) in the first episode of the series. In addition, it also appeared in the the hit 2002 Kdrama “Winter Sonata” when Jung Yoo-Jin (Choi Ji-Woo) sees Lee Min-Hyung (Bae Yong-Jun) walking by on the way to her engagement party. So if you are a big fan of these Kdramas, visiting this park is a must.
Other Kdramas Filmed at Marronnier Park
If you are looking for simple itineraries and guides to help you plan your Hallyu-themed trip to Korea, you may refer to the sample below:
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