National Maritime Museum, Busan, South Korea

Korea National Maritime Museum is Korea’s representative maritime museum established to promote maritime industry and culture by discovering, preserving and researching the heritage of maritime culture and industries. And by providing the educational programs, arranging exhibitions and interacting with the visitors, the museum, which becomes a culture complex, makes people understand and experience the value of the ocean.

The Korea National Maritime Museum is an apprenticeship, management, preservation, research, research, education and exhibition of the history, archeology, humanity, folklore, arts, science, technology and industry related to the ocean, to contribute to the development of marine culture, art, science, technology and industry. It was officially opened on April 20, 2015 with the launch of a special corporation. This museum is located in the marine cluster of Dongsam-dong, Yeongdo-gu, Busan, South Korea. It is the only national maritime museum in Korea.

The National Maritime Museum opened in July 2012. The Maritime Museum Act was enacted in 2014 and was enacted in 2015 to establish the Maritime Museum as a special corporation.

He is conducting a marine humanities program, “From Ocean Road to the Sea,” and he wrote the lecture in a book, “ Reading the Oceans ”.

The necessity of constructing a comprehensive maritime museum was raised in order to enhance the potential of the nation by creating a landmark institution reflecting the maritime history of the nation. Allow people to gain an understanding of the maritime world in a comprehensive and systematic way through the collection, research and exhibition of maritime related relics. Activate the regional economy by promoting the maritime tourism industry.


The museum was declared a 2007 BTL project during the resolution on the Korea National budget by congress. Preliminary feasibility study for the project of creating the Korea National Maritime Museum (B/C=1.44)

The basic plan for the facilities of the Korea National Maritime Museum was announced. Feasibility and eligibility study and the basic plan for the facilities were made. The Advisory Committee for the construction of the Korea National Maritime Museum was instituted.

The company with the responsibility for the construction of the Korea National Maritime Museum was announced. Negotiations for the conclusion of the execution agreement commenced.

Plans for the construction of the Korea National Maritime Museum was approved (Dec. 18) and the construction began (Dec. 31). Agreement on the construction of the Korea National Maritime Museum was concluded.

Construction was completed. The Korea National Maritime Museum opens.

8 permanent exhibition halls, planning exhibition hall, marine library with 50,000 marine books and multimedia room, children’s museum for children under 7 years old, open-air circular plaza, 11m diameter, 4.8m depth aquarium, 3D images There is a 4D movie theater and an observatory where you can enjoy the beautiful sea around the museum.


Permanent Exhibition

2nd floor
Learning the ocean

Children’s Museum where visitors can enjoy various performances and experiences on the theme of sea and environment. Various exhibitions related to the ocean are possible.

On the second floor, we have the Children’s Museum where you can see performances for kids along with a variety of experience-based activities under the theme of the ocean and the environment. You can easily access to several convenient facilities for family visitors, including a nursing room and picnic room. You may also want to check out colorful exhibitions on various topics in addition to the ocean and marine environment in the special exhibition hall.

2.1 Special Exhibition Hall
A multi-purpose exhibition hall that can hold various kinds of special exhibitions. Various special exhibitions will be held in cooperation with domestic and overseas museums, maritime research institutes, etc.

Special Exhibition
100 Marine Luxury Products, Embrace the Sea
It means precious treasures that can not be valued. This reflects on the meaning of this exhibition once more. The National Maritime Museum has collected more than 22,000 noble artifacts since its opening. All artifacts are so precious that they cannot hide their respect and superiority. In this exhibition, the artifacts that represent will be a great time to meet carefully selected luxury goods that contain the history and culture of the ocean.

2.2 Children’s Museum
Exhibition Theme: The Sea and Environment (centering around a performance theater space). The museum will help children easily understand the sea and environment by experiencing and seeing actual items.

2.3 The Central Hall
An architectural design that combines and infuses the shape of both a fan and the Panokseon – a combat boat used during the Joseon Dynasty to express the dynamism of the marine environment.

3rd floor
Meeting the ocean

A place where you can learn and feel the history and culture of the sea that has coexisted with humankind through various relics. It is possible to meet sea creatures more vividly through the opportunity to directly touch the marine ecosystem.

You can learn and feel the history and culture of the ocean that has existed together with humans through various marine relics and artifacts. You can also enjoy a close-up view and feel of marine life that is hard to experience in everyday life by touching marine organisms in the aquarium and marine life hall.

3.1 Maritime Culture
Life at the sea. The exhibition has been organized along the themes of maritime religions and the traditional fishery techniques and methods that were commonplace among communities who derived their livelihood from the sea.

3.2 Maritime history and figures
The challenge and wisdom presented by the sea. Help people to understand the changes and development in ideas about the sea in each age by showing the activities of some notable maritime figures.

3.3 Ships
The technology and maritime power of our ancestors. The shapes and designs of Korean traditional ships, the seas where they voyaged, and the records of exchanges and relics are exhibited.

3.4 Aquarium

3.5 Maritime Life
The vast sea and the dynamic creatures that live in it, the origin and diversity of each group of maritime creatures.

3.6Maritime Experience
Our joyful sea. The space has been created so that people can come to pleasantly learn about and appreciate the sea by stimulating their interest and curiosity in maritime leisure and sports.

4th floor
Sailing to the ocean

The Marine Industry Center, which focuses on the economy and productivity of the sea, and the Marine Science Museum for Sustainable Development.

On the fourth floor, you can visit the Marine Industry Hall that explains the economic potential and productivity of the ocean, the Marine Science Hall for the sustainable development, and the Marine Territory Hall that illustrates the future potential and development of the ocean. Don’t forget to drop by the 4D Theater where you can experience the marine world in a very realistic manner.

4.1 Maritime Territory
A new possibility suggested by the sea. Spectators will gain a sense of energy when they view this display that emphasizes the opulence and vitality of our seas.

4.2 Maritime Science
Maritime exploration for sustainable development.

4.3Maritime Industry
Economic value and productive capacity of the sea – our present maritime status.

Children’s Museum
Through experiences and real-world exhibitions, exhibitions are organized to make it easier to understand the sea and the environment.

The Sea and Environment (centering around a performance theater space). The museum will help children easily understand the sea and its environment by experiencing and seeing actual items. Children can experience the sea and its environment while watching a film in which an Antarctic penguin is returning to its home.

Outdoor exhibition
World sailing yachts, international signals, and Palmido Lighthouse.

About 22,000 relics are managed by collecting, receiving, restoring, and replicating. The main relics are as follows.

Goos’ Maritime Atlas
Pieter Goos(1616~1675), a Dutch cartographer published the first edition of the atlas in 1666. It contains 41 nautical charts including Asian region. It is decorated with gold leaf and colorful painting on high-quality papers by handwork. Since then lots of maritime lots of atlases were published based on Goos’ Atlas.

Pair of globes by Newton & Son
These are a pair of terrestrial and celestial globes produced by Newton family (Newton & Son; William Newton(1786~1861), William E. Newton(1818~1879)) who are family of craftsmen in globes. Stars and constellations are presented on the celestial globe so that people could find out the direction with the location of the stars on a voyage at night. The globe shows navigation path the captain, James Cook travelled and East Sea of Korea is recorded as Gulf of Corea.

Juk-do Jechal
This is the warning board with the contents that ‘Juk-do is the land of Joseon that navigation is barred’ that was erected in the Nikata Coast in 1837 that this is the data to show that Japan had recognition of Ulreung-do and Dok-do as the land of Joseon. The contents are shown as follows. “Juk-do (竹島-Ulreung-do) is the place of having the stoppage of passing from the Genroku Era that it is stringently barred to navigate on the soil of another country. Do not navigate Juk-do. Do not meet the ships of other countries on the sea and order is made not to come to the far sea as much as possible.”

This book was recorded by Im Gyo-jin who held the position of Hamyeol Hyeongam of Jeolla province and the manager of Sungdangchang in 1862. Sungdangchang is the name of the warehouse storing collected rice called Daedongmi and the manager of the warehouse was called Youngwungwan. The position needed to carry Segok (taxed grain) from Jeolla province to Hanyang through sea with the ship. In 1863, he put his journey as Youngwungwan on record.

Ship of Joseon’s Envoy
This is the ship used by the Joseon dynasty’s Official Delegation that paid visit to Japan for 12 times from 1607 to 1811 to negotiate the political and diplomatic issues. The Joseon’s Official Delegation consisted of a total of 400-500 persons with three major officials called jungsa, busa and Jongsakwan individually. They got on board the ship along with painters, doctors, interpreters, musicians, horsemen and others. They were sent in 6 ships for the Joseon’s Official Delegation fleet to sail to Japan and it had the largest ships of the time. The records on the Joseon’s Official Delegation ships and other ships of the time were conveyed through several documentations of Gakseon Dobon, Hanseong Yujo, Tongmungwanji, Gyemisusarok, Jeungjeonggyorinji and others.

Hamgyeong -do Coastal Map
This is the map that draws Dancheon of Hamgyeong province to Wonsan. By drawing villages and ports, it has the details of water-depth, number of households, distance and others. This set of map also has the record of contents under the viewpoint from land and sea. It shows the port situation and activities for their livelihood in the coastal village and nearby coastal area in Hamgyeong province. This map reaches approximately 7 meters when it is spread out

This is a hand-over document which was written when Kim Gyeonghyeok left from Cheomjeljesa, naval officer in Widojin, Jeolla province. In regard to accounting and product management, it was prepared for the successor inheriting the responsibility. Kim Gyeonghyeok was nominated as a Cheomjeljesa, naval officer in Widojin on December 27, 1793. He served approximately two years from January 18, 1794 to January 24, 1796.

The Maritime Library in the Korea National Maritime Museum has collected and arranged both domestic and overseas special books and digital media in museology and archaeology which contain data in areas of maritime culture, maritime history and maritime figures. We are running the library in a way where visitors can freely use the materials and information related to the museum.