Incheon is the third most important city in South Korea after Seoul and Busan. Initially a small fishing village, Incheon has turned into a large industrial and financial center with active cultural life and well-developed tourism. The modern city has multiple skyscrapers and futuristic buildings. Despite this, the country’s government respects and takes steps to save the nation’s ancient traditions. That is why there is a historical district in the center of Incheon. This is the place where tourists can see the traditional Korean architecture of the past. There are picturesque parks nearby. Moreover, tourists can try Korean national dishes and try on the traditional clothes of the region.
Incheon is a very old city – it was mentioned for the first time in 475. At that time, the settlement had another name – Michuhol. This was mostly home to fishermen and their families, and fish was the main food of these people. The local government officially changed the city’s name from Michuhol to Incheon in 1413. Since that time, October 15 has been the official birthday of Incheon. Despite this, the Korean settlement officially became a city only on January 1, 1883, when it was decided to merge several settlements into one city. The first port opened in Chemulpo Bay. Starting from that period, Korea began foreign trade with other countries.
Do you want to see the first Korean museum opened for the general public? In this case, head to the Incheon Metropolitan City Museum, which opened its doors in 1946. Initially, the main purpose of this establishment was to conduct historical studies and preserve the cultural traditions of Incheon. When the city celebrated its 100th anniversary, a memorial hall and complex were added to the museum. They offer an exhibition dedicated to the battles in the region.
Nowadays, tourists can see not only antique artifacts that tell more about the history and culture of Incheon but also see an interesting photo and video exhibition dedicated to the Korean War, the landing of the United States’ troops, and events that happened after that. Besides that, visitors can see a memorial tower that is 18 meters tall. This tower has flags of all sixteen countries that participated in the Korean War. The Chamseongdan Altar is a sacred place for all Koreans, and tourists may find it interesting to visit this place too. Local people tell that Dangun, the founder of Korea, made sacrifices to heaven in this place four thousand years ago. The first reconstruction of the altar happened in the 70s of the 13th century. The altar has been reconstructed a number of times since then but it has managed to retain its original look.
The altar itself is made of bricks that form a five-meter-long stone platform. The foundation of this platform is round-shaped, and the top of the altar is a stone rectangle. Much time has passed since the last sacrifice was made on this altar, but Koreans still consider the altar a sacred place and think of it as an important landmark. Numerous events such as national and sports competitions often take place not far from the altar. This is particularly true about award ceremonies.
Tourists interested in the Russo-Japanese war history should not forget to visit a monument dedicated to the Russian Varyag ship. It is installed in the city’s port. The monument was erected in 2004, a century after the famous battle. The monument is a large stone with a bronze sailor hat placed upon it. This monument reminds of the famous battle where Russian soldiers showed their courage, battled the Japanese army, and sank the ship in order not to give it to the enemy. Birch trees near the monument add a Russian vibe to this place.
In order to get to the cultural and economic center of the region, Incheon, tourists can fly to the capital city first. In Seoul, simply use the metro to get to Incheon – there are lines that connect the two cities. It is also possible to get to the city by bus – the price of the metro and bus tickets doesn’t differ much. Of course, there are always taxi cars waiting for travelers who need extra comfort. The taxi will quickly take you to Incheon but it will be more expensive.