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Friday, 6 February 2015

Woori Bank Museum, Seoul Jung-gu: Underground Banking Museum inside Woori Bank HQ

The Woori Bank Museum was open at the underground of the Headquarters of Woori Bank in 51 Sogong Avenue/Sogongno, Hoehyeon-dong 1-ga 203-beonji, Seoul Jung-gu on July 20th 2004 with sophisticated exhibition technologies; Visitors can see the histories of Japanese colonial periods, Korean Liberalization (Gwangbokjeol) and separation, The development of economy and footsteps of Korean banks from Asian Financial crisis in 1997 to current at a glance. 

As the only having coin bank museum in Korea, it displays 600 of coin banks among 6,000 through the coin bank theme park and coin bank gallery. It provides the opportunity of understanding savings and economies easily to children through various and familiar world’s rare coin banks and showing the theory and real economy to children and teenagers by arranging the 100 years of Korean bank history. 

The total of 163 items on display, including 66 relics like the seal of State for Emperor Gojong-Gwangmu, the 26th king of the Joseon Dynasty (First Emperor of the Korean Empire) and 97 photographs. The items have been gathered by Woori Bank and 10 museums and research organizations, including the National Museum of Korea and the Independence Hall.

Woori Bank changed its name in 2002 from Hanvit Bank (한빛은행). It was also formerly called Commercial Bank of Korea, Hanil Bank and Peace Bank. Woori Bank's Jongno branch, the Gwangtonggwan (광통관/廣通館) is the oldest bank building to still be in operation.

Of the banks currently in operation, the oldest bank is Cho Hung Bank, which has been in operation since 1897, followed by Woori Bank since 1899. Others include Korea First Bank, (currently Standard Chartered-Cheil Bank) in operation since 1929, Kookmin Bank since 1963 and Korea Exchange Bank since 1967 and Shinhan Bank since 1981.

The banking museum is accessible by using KORAIL-Seoul Metro 4 to Station 425: Hoehyeon (Namdaemun Market) [회현역 (남대문시장)/(會賢驛 (南大門市場)/Hoehyeon-yeok (Namdaemun Sijang)].