Jeondong Catholic Cathedral
Located at the edge of Jeonju Hanok Village, the Jeondong Catholic Cathedral stands out amidst the traditional Korean houses. The awe-inspiring church was built in honor of Roman Catholic martyrs of the Joseon Dynasty on the exact spot they lost their lives, outside Pungnammun Gate. As the first Romanesque building in the Honam region, Jeondong Catholic Cathedral bears an astounding resemblance to the famous Myeongdong Cathedral in Seoul. Both churches were designed by Priest Poinel in the early 1900s, using a special combination of Byzantine and Romanesque architectural styles.
Not only is Jeondong Catholic Cathedral one of the oldest Catholic churches in Korea, it is also one of the most beautiful Catholic churches in the country. Do not just admire the church’s gray and red-bricked exteriors. Enter the beautiful church to marvel at its equally grand interiors. An interesting fact to note: some of the bricks used in the church’s construction were made using materials from the Jeonjueupseong Fortress, which was torn down by the Japanese during the Japanese rule.
Jeonju Hanok Village
The Jeonju Hanok Village is one of the showpiece cultural attractions of the city. Don your hanbok and take a slow, unhurried walk around the serene, playful streets of the Hanok Village. More than 800 traditional Korean homes make up this slice of Jeonju, meaning that it is an authentic experience. There are loads of souvenirs on offer, and of course, loads of mouthwatering Korean dishes to be sampled.
PNB Bakery started in 1951 and has the best chocopies here. What are chocopies, you might ask. They are two fresh baked cookies sandwiching a flavored whipped cream, dipped in dark chocolate. So decadent from the first to last bite. Small chocopies are 1,500 KRW ($1.30 USD) and the larger ones are 2,300 KRW ($2 USD).
If you visit the larger PNB shops (outside of the Hanok Village), the other baked goods are also delicious! It is easy to find PNB in Jeonju, while there is just one store in Seoul. Many visitors stock up while they are in town. Look out for the orange and brown shopping bags.
Constructed in 1410, Gyeonggijeon Shrine is home to the portrait of King Taejo, founder of the Joseon Dynasty. The structure you see now was remodeled in 1614 as the original structure was partially destroyed during Imjin War (1592-1598). Designated as Historical Site No. 339, Gyeonggijeon Shrine contains many noteworthy artefacts, including memorial portraits and ancestor tablets of the Yi royal family, as well as carriages used to transport dignitaries.
Deokjin Park is a picturesque patch of greenery that includes a water feature unique to these parts, a large pond blanketed by an eye-catching coat of lotus plants. There is a comically sized suspension bridge that bisects the waters, while on the other side of the pond, a wooden bridge weaves its way through the water. There is even a pagoda built in honour of the park’s historical background. Head out for a mini-cruise with one of the many paddle boats on offer and while the time away at the park.