The Norwegian Embassy is reopened today after moving into its new location at the heart of the old Daehan Empire.
The embassy’s new address is on the 13th floor of the Jeong-dong Building, 15-5 Jeong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul.
The Jeong-dong Building in the historic legation district houses the Netherlands, New Zealand and now Norwegian embassies. (Yoav Cerralbo/The Korea Herald)
The historic Jeong-dong area, which was Seoul’s old legation quarter, is currently going through a diplomatic revival as a home for foreign embassies.
Within the same building are the embassies of New Zealand, the Netherlands and now Norway. Just down the hill is the Canadian Embassy, which is around the corner from the Russian Embassy compound and the United States ambassador’s residence more commonly known as Habib House.
520-year-old tree outside the Canadian Embassy in Jeong-dong. (Canadian Embassy)
The historic quarter is also home to the British Embassy compound and is a stone’s throw from the neighboring quarter that houses the iconic Kyobo Building with its several embassies. In its vicinity are also the Swiss, European Union and Czech Embassies, and soon the Oman Embassy.
There is also a piece of Korea-Russia diplomatic history located across the road from the Jeong-dong Building.
Standing to attention and overlooking a recreational park is the old three-story Russian legation tower, which was built in 1890. It is the only edifice remaining from the original Russian Embassy where Emperor Gojong took refuge in fear of his life after the assassination of his wife Empress Myeongseong (otherwise known as Queen Min) in 1895.
Overlooking a recreational park in Jeong-dong, the three-story Russian legation tower is the only remnant of the original Russian Embassy. (Yoav Cerralbo/The Korea Herald)
By the 20th century, Jeong-dong transformed into a city within a city with churches and missionaries located next to a few of the nation’s first modern schools.
Today, the quarter still has a distinctive feel due to its tree-lined alleyways and Western-style buildings.
By Yoav Cerralbo (email@example.com)