Mangyongdae - birthplace of Kim Il Sung
Mangyongdae District, Pyongyang, North Korea
Mangyongdae - birthplace of Kim Il Sung Pyongyang Reviews
Mangyongdae – Birthplace of Kim Il-sung Feb 12, 2017
Our guide assured us that Kim Il-sung was born here, into a patriotic and revolutionary family of several generations standing, on 15 April 1912 and that it was from here, at the tender age of 13, that he set out on the road of revolutionary struggle for Korea’s liberation from Japan. Once he left Mangyongdae in 1925 he didn’t return to Pyongyang until “he” had liberated Korea in Oct 1945.
Outside North Korea, while it is accepted that Kim Il-sung was born in the Pyongyang area it is questioned as to whether or not he was born at this location or in this house.
While one has to make some allowance for the preservation work, paths, etc to make a peasants humble abode accessible to large numbers of pilgrims and tourists and at the same time protect it, I really can’t help wondering if this house is the real birthplace of Kim Il-sung or not. Looking at the abode, and do forgive me if you feel my comment a little sacrilegious, I can’t help thinking that if three wise men and some shepherds were added this would make a perfect double for a Bethlehem stable of 2000 years ago. Given the cult of personality surrounding Kim Il-sung his devoted followers would have no problem with a direct comparison to Christ.
The house, with its low thatched roof, mud walls, simple farm implements, loom, straw mats and storage jars is presented as typical of that of the impoverished under Japanese occupation. One interesting exhibit is a water jar (picture 3) that was purchased by Kim Il-sung’s mother. It is said to show her frugality and lack of money because although it was misshapen, it could still hold water.
Being the very ‘cradle of the revolution’ and birthplace of the Eternal President, the house is a place of pilgrimage for North Koreans and it was especially busy, and its entrance adorned with more and larger bouquets of flowers than it would normally be, as we visited on the occasion of the Great Leader’s 102nd birthday celebrations.
The house is located in a beautiful manicured parkland setting but such is the problem of organised tours that, we didn’t have time to explore the park and see the Leaders ‘wrestling site’, ‘swinging site’ or ‘warship rock’. I did however get to see a well and partake of the water that gave sustenance to the young Kim Il-sung 100 years ago. Visitors who drink the water would, our guide assured us, become “a great person, like President Kim Il-Sung”.
On our short walk back to the bus we passed what I think is one of the nicest mosaics we came across, depicting the young Kim Il-sung heading of to save his country from the Japanese occupiers in 1925.
Part of the North Korea - Pyongyang travel blog
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Birthplace of Kim Il Sung May 01, 2010
This was a stop that could have easily been cancelled, but since we were in North Korea and the program was set, there was nothing we could do about it.
It was a stop at the birthplace of Kim Il Sung, Mangyongdae. He was born there on april 15th, 1912.
I don't know if it is the actual house (I have my doubts) or a replica. It consists of 3 buildings, one apparently the house itself, opposite of that what looked like a stable and a smaller building at the end. We saw some house hold items and work tools laying around and the portraits of Kim himself, his parents and other family members.
For the North Korean people it's a must see place, very important to their history. For us something we had to do.
The house is in a park, surrounded by lots of trees. A guide explained us about the building and the childhood of Kim Il Sung.
As all the visits to the various sites were included in the tour, it was unknown to me about the costs. That's why I made them free.
(Note: pictures that show a * weren't been taken by me)
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