Churches in Korean dramas can look like they are straight out of an expensive Hollywood set and at other times like an 18th century Gothic church in Europe.
Yet all the beautiful churches in Korean dramas were shot, well in South Korea. About 30% of the South Korean population are Christian, predominantly divided into Catholic and Protestant faiths.
It is no surprise that these scenic churches served as filming locations, thanks to their fine-looking high ceilings and elaborate mural work.
Here are five beautiful churches in Korean dramas you might want to pay a little visit:
1. Myeongdong Cathedral
Myeongdong Cathedral or the Cathedral Church of the Virgin Mary of the Immaculate Conception is located in Seoul.
Here is where dramas such You are Beautiful (2009) and Black Knight: The Man who Guards Me (2017) were shot.
The first episode of You are Beautiful when the lead character Go Mi Nam (Park Shin Hye) is still discerning if nunnery is her calling was shot here.
Built in 1898, the cathedral is one of the famous historical sites in Seoul. It was the birthplace of Roman Catholicism in South Korea and also houses the remains of Bishop Laurent Joseph Marie Imbert (1796-1839), and priests Peter Simon (1803-1839), James (Jacques Honor Chastan, 1803-1839) and Pourthie Jean Antoine Charles (1830-1866) and four martyrs.
Myeongdong Cathedral is also strategically located near other popular tourist spots.
According to Korea Tourism Organisation, visitors can also visit Korean traditional houses of Namsangol Hanok Village, N Seoul Tower and Namdaemun Market.
2. Gongseri Catholic Church
If you are travelling to Chungcheongnam-do or South Chungcheong Province then make way to Asan city and visit Gongseri Catholic Church.
Uncontrollably Fond (2016), Cheongdam-dong Alice (2012) and Iris 2 (2012) used this 19th century church as one of its filming locations.
It was the first church built in that province back in 1894.
But back then, the congregation was using a common house to worship until a proper church building was built in 1922.
After a tour of the church, don’t forget to visit tourist sites such as Asan Spavis and Asanoncheon Hot Spring.
3. Mirinae Holy Site
Remember in Goblin (2016) when Kim Shin aka Dokkaebi (Gong Yoo) handsomely appears (as he always does) after Ji Eun Tak (Kim Go Eun) summons him in a church?
That scene was shot in Mirinae Holy Site located in Anseong city, 80 kilometres south of Seoul.
The first Korean Catholic saint, St Andrew Kim Taegon was buried here.
The church is called Mirinae (Milky Way) because when Korean Catholics took refuge at this place to avoid persecution during the late Joseon Dynasty (1392-1897), the lamplight coming from their homes in the village looked like the starlight of the Milky Way.
4. Yakhyeon Cathedral
This is the church which witnessed so many weddings in Korean dramas. Nam Da Jung (Yoona) and Kwon Yul (Lee Beom Soo) married here in the final episode of Prime Minister and I (2013).
Oh Jin Hee (Song Ji Hyo) and Oh Chang Min (Choi Jin Hyuk) married here in Emergency Couple (2014).
And in My Daughter, Geom Sa Wol (2015), Oh Hye Sang (Park Se Young) and Joo Se Hoon (Da Sang Woo) wed here too.
This parish in Seoul is named Yakhyeon which means a hill of herbs because the area has many herbs.
Just like most 19th century Catholic churches in South Korea, Yakhyeon Cathedral is the final home for 44 martyrs.
Nonetheless, this cathedral was the first western style church built in South Korea in 1892 which unlike other churches that were more Gothic-inspired.
5. Youngnak Church
This is the only non-Catholic Church on this list.
Seo Sang Ryun and his brother Seo Sang U founded the first Protestant Church in Korea back in 1884.
The congregation grew over the years and in due time, there was a need to build a church in Seoul.
So, a new church building called Youngnak Presbyterian Church was constructed and completed in May 1950.
Gong Yoo’s Seo Yoon Jae met Gil Da Ran (played by Lee Min Jung) for the first time in this church in Big (2012).