Photo Gallery

Triumphal Arch (built 1982)

Pyongyang's triumphal arch is North Korea's answer to the one in France. Dedicated in April 14, 1982, it is 3 meters taller than the Arc de Triumph. It spans a mostly deserted street which, unlike most national capitals, suffers a dearth of traffic. The dates "1925" and "1945" on either side of the arch refer to length of Kim Il Sung's anti-Japanese struggle, which culminated in the fall of the Japanese Empire in 1945. Below them are four groups of bronze sculptures showing 24 figures in heroic poses. The words directly above the arch are the Korean tune "Song of General Kim IL Sung".

Notice how the arch incorporates both Western and Korean features. The lower half is a classic Roman three-part facade with huge pilasters. The upper part is a three-tiered roof, not unlike those in Buddhist temples (compare to Bunhwangsa, South Korea). It also has false-bracketing carved on the underside. According to a North Korean publication, "This stone building has dozens of bright and splendid rooms, balustrades and belvederes, stairs and up-to-date elevators". Apparently then, the interior is hollow, but this editor has been unable as yet to obtain any images of interior rooms.


All images copyright 2000 Dr. T. C. Kim

Chong, Bong-uk (editor). A Handbook on North Korea.
  Naewoe Press, 1998. Seoul

Pyongyang Review (no authors listed)
  Foreign Language Publishing House, 1988. Pyongyang

Leave a Comment (*required)

 (will not be published)
Captcha text:*
Sally posted on Thu May 09, 2013 3:23 pm:

This is the best thing I have ever read!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Juja posted on Thu May 09, 2013 2:57 pm:

Can you tell me why this piece of architecture is important?

odekunle oluwole posted on Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:42 am:

great piece of architecture and great history