Yakhyeon Catholic Church was established as a result of Korea gaining religious freedom in the 23rd year of King Gojong’s reign (1886) and the subsequent increase of the Catholic population.
In 1891, Myeongdong Cathedral's head priest Doucet laid down the foundation stone in Hap-dong. Coadjutor bishop Coste was in charge of design and construction and the building was eventually completed in 1892.
The church was named after "Yakjeonhyeon" (藥田峴,), or a hill of medicinal herbs. This is because the place where the church is located was once a hilly area covered with medicinal herbs. Later on, "Yakjeonhyeon" was shortened to "Yakhyeon" and it became the name of the hilly area between Malli-dong and Seoul Station.
Yakhyeon Catholic Church was the first Western-style church ever built in Korea. It's Gothic architecture features a 12m-wide and 32m-long cruciform construction with low arched windows and a pointed-arch entrance gate.
Designated as Historic Site No. 252 (November 22, 1977)
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