Jeoldusan Martyrs’ Shrine is a Catholic shrine on the Han River dedicated to those who gave up their lives during the Byeongin persecutions of 1866. In late 1866, nine French missionaries were martyred. This caused two attempted invasions into Korea by a French fleet. After the attempted invasions, the Joseon government punished, targeted, and brutally murdered many French and native Korean Roman Catholics. The place became known as “beheading mountain.”
The property was acquired by the Catholic Church in 1956. In 1962, a monument was erected at this location in honor of those who were executed here.
In 1967, a church and museum were built here in honor of the 100th anniversary of the persecution. These new buildings were built in the hope of remembering these martyrs and also in deepening the faith of believers.
In 1968, relics of the martyrs were enshrined in the basement of the church. Today, the church holds the relics of twenty nine martyrs, including one who is unknown.
On May 3, 1984, Pope John Paul II visited Jeoldusan Martyrs’ Shrine to pay respect to the martyrs. He visited during the 200th anniversary of Catholicism in Korea. Mother Teresa visited the shrine a year later in 1985.
On November 7, 1997, the shrine was designated as a site of national historical significance. In August 2008, the museum was renamed “The Korea Catholic Martyrs’ Museum.”
On the other side of the shrine is Yanghwajin Foreigners’ Cemetery.