Full-size model of a Turtle Ship

Korean admiral Yi Sun-sin is credited with designing the Turtle Ship. The Turtle ship, also known as Geobukseon or Kobukson, was a type of large warship in Korea. It was used by the Royal Korean Navy during the Joseon Dynasty against Japanese.

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Cross the Dolsandaegyo Bridge and turn right to get to Dolsan Ferry, where the cruise ship quay and the Sashimi Town wait for visitors. There you will see the two-story life-size model of a Turtle Ship that was used during the Korea-Japan War in the 16th century. The model was completed in April 1986.

The cabin on the first floor of the model Turtle Ship

The first floor has a portrait of Admiral Yi and wax figures in navy uniforms paddling or commanding, and displays diverse weapons such as naval guns and spears. The compartmentalized basement consists of a rest area, a kitchen, a space where wounded officers were treated, and another area where gunpowder was made. When the Korean navy cooked inside the Turtle Ship, they used completely dry charcoals to cook without smoke, as fishermen did at that time. In addition, the officers moved their paddles up and down, not right or left, to avoid touching enemy ships with their paddles.

Entrance to the model Turtle Ship

Story of Turtle Ship

While the Turtle Ship was the Korean navy’s most powerful weapon during the Korea-Japan War in the 16th century, little is known about its form and design. The Complete Book about Yi Chungmugong published in 1795 mentions the ship, but the next is rather fragmentary and controversial. The form of the Turtle Ship we know now derives from a painting in a book and a replica made by Horace Horton Underwood of the United States in 1934.

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User’s Guide

  • Address: Jeollanam-do, Yeosu Dolsan-eup, Udo-ri 810-3
  • telephone: +82-061-644-1411
  • Admission fee: Free
  • Photogenic spots: Pose for souvenir pictures with the Turtle Ship and the life-size figures of 16th century Korean marine officers.
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