Gwangju has been recognized as a city of democracy, human rights, and peace as a backdrop of the citizen fighting against injustice throughout the history. From the Donghak Peasant Movement in 1894, the Gwangju Student Movement in 1929, and the April Revolution in 1960, to the May 18 Democratization Movement in 1980, Gwangju has set an example for many nations to aspire freedom and justice. In addition, the 2006 Gwangju Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates and 1980 Archives for the May 18th Democratic Uprising Against the Military Regime were inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World Register in 2011.
Look around Gwangju. You cannot miss clues to the May 18th, or May 18 Archives and May 18 National Cemetery. The victims of the May 18 Gwangju Democratization Movement are enshrined. The cemetery consists of seven buildings, seven historical sculptures, a plaza, an exhibition hall, a sculpture, and a memorial tower.
May 18 Liberty Park marks the location of the Sangmudae (Military) Court and the military prison which were in use during the bloody May 18th Democratic Uprising against Korea's military dictatorship. On the anniversary of the movement, an experience program allows visitors to be locked inside the prison themselves.
Stretching from the (former) Jeollanam-do Provincial Government Office to the Geumnam-ro area, this famous plaza is where the landmark May 18th Democratic Uprising took place. In May 1980, the Jeollanam-do Provincial Government office building was the headquarters of the civil resistance movement and the scene of a number of rallies. The plaza has been officially known as the May 18 Democracy Square (5.18 민주광장, Minju Gwangjang) since 1996.