21 – Jeoldusan 절두산

21 - Jeoldusan

Jeoldusan 절두산
The Chopping Head Mountain
Subway: Hapjeong (Line 2)
Distance hiked: 0.97 km
Time: 38:03

This is not a mountain any longer, but it was worth going to pay my respects. Jeoldusan is now a Catholic martyrs’ shrine, honoring those who were executed for their faith. The name literally means “chopping head mountain,” but the grisliness of its nomenclature is diffused by the beauty of the garden and church that it has become. Many come to walk while praying the rosary, or to visit the church. Still, I felt uneasy at the sculptures—beautiful as they are, the figures often have their hands at a strange angle to signify execution. Nearby was a cemetery for foreign missionaries, and reading the headstones that told of their devotion to their work in Korea was quite touching.

It seemed disrespectful even to borrow soil from the area, so hey, I took it from the parking lot.

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