If what you like the most of South Korea it is the history, then Opodae(오포대), located in Yeosu, is a place you would like to visit to learn about the remains of war!
It is worth to mention, that this is an historical site rather than a touristic spot. Because of this, it must be treated by respect. We invite you to visit this place if you feel interested in knowing more details about the Japanese occupation in South Korea.
History of 오포대
Opodae is a Lighthouse from the colonial period. Which now, became a major attraction in Yeosu because the history behind it.
The lighthouse received the name of Opodae because of ‘Oppo’. ‘Oppo’ was a method of putting only gunpowder without a shell and firing the gun to announce noon, through the gun shot’s sound.
Some of the people believe that Opodae exists since the Japanese colonial era, but in reality, it has already existed since the Joseon Dynasty (조선시대).
During the Joseon Dynasty, guns were fired to announce noon, but during the Japanese colonial period, it changed to a siren.
An important tool from the war
With the expansion of the war in 1941 to the Pacific War, Oppodae was installed in almost all regions of the country, and this time, it was not only used at noon, but also for air defense drills and emergency situations.
Opodae is a cilyndrical building made of red bricks. Inside, you will find a rectangular building on the rooftop. The rooftop building consists of windows on all sides, providing a wide view of Yeosu.
Even if it has existed for many years, the lighthouse it does not look destroyed.
You can see everywhere through the observation deck, including the view of Yeosu City, Jinnamgwan and its surrounding area, the view of the sea between Dolsan Island and Namhae-gun, and the view of Maraesan Mountain and Yeosu Exhibition Center.
Basically, it was used to see from afar the militar position during the japanese occupation. Because of this, ㅡ 오포대 ㅡ holds the Remains of War in Yeosu.
From Opodae, you can basically see every part of the city from there as mentioned before.
Oppodae was built with a watchtower and an attached building to manage it. However, the attached building was demolished.
They remain using the Opodae until the early 1980s, as a civil defense in Yeosu.
Now Opodae became a park. Despite this, it is still a historical site that represents a painful story from the Japanese occupation. That is the reason why you can read the history of Opodae there.
It is really interesting how this place now even has exercise machines, benches and acts like a park. The day I visited, I came across with a group of elders, who explained me a little bit about the Opodae. The ahjumma told me that it was her favorite place to exercise.
Do not be afraid of visiting if you want to know more about the story, elders were pretty welcoming and did not felt offended of meeting a foreigner tourist there.
Address: 427 Goso-dong, Yeosu-si, Jeollanam-do
How to get there: From Yeosu Expo, you must take bus no. 6, or bus no. 7, and wait for four stops. You need to come out in the bus stop 경찰서.
It is an interesting place to visit if you like to know about korean history. However, we cannot forget that this place holds the remains of their painful memories from japanese occupation. That is why, when visiting this place we must treat it with respect.
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Check out: History of Opodae