Sometimes you find the most interesting things in the most unlikely of places. Tucked away in a small park down by the water in San Pedro, California you’ll find the Korean Bell of Friendship. I had heard about this place many moons ago, but somehow never got around to visiting. Why I decided to go on a Friday afternoon, in the middle of rush hour… I still haven’t figured out. Thanks to traffic, I managed to miss the amazing sunset that night. 🙁 Still, it was a pretty cool spot to visit.
The Korean Bell of Friendship (also known as simply the Korean Friendship Bell) sits in Angel’s Gate Park just off Gaffey and 37th Street in San Pedro overlooking the Pacific Ocean. This little place with an awesome view of Catalina is a quiet little oasis in the middle of the bustling downtown that lies just outside it’s gates. If I lived closer, I’d be down here taking in the sunset every night!
The bell was presented to the American People by the Republic of Korea to celebrate the U.S. bicentennial and to symbolize the friendship between the nations. Dedicated on October 3rd, 1976, the bell is made of 17 tons of copper and tin as well as a few other metals to add to the tone of the bell. It’s a massive 7 1/2 feet around, stands 12 feet tall and has an average thickness of 8 inches. I think it’s kind of cool that it was dedicated on my birthday! I refuse to say which one tho, a girl never gives away her age. 🙂
The bell sits in an amazingly ornate pavilion which is called the Belfry of Friendship. I loved the bright colors and repeating patterns in the roof against the red of the pilars. I can only imagine what the bell sounds like when struck. I will definitely have to come back to the Korean Bell of Friendship on one of the five days during the year that it is struck. Maybe that day will be today? It just so happens that January 13th is one of those five days being that it is Korean American Day. The other days to hear the bell ring are New Year’s Eve, The 4th of July, Korean Liberation Day (August 15th) and Constitution Day (September 17). The bell was also struck on September 11, 2002, the first anniversary of the Sept 11th terrorist attack on the U.S..
I loved visiting this lovely place and look forward to showing up earlier in the afternoon next time. It is so peaceful here and the view is just amazing, I think I may have found a new favorite sunset spot! You can never have too many of those. I hope you’ll stop by and see this place when in the L.A. area, you won’t be disappointed.
Tips if you go:
The park opens at 6:30 am and closes at 6:30 pm. So this is a great sunrise and sunset spot. There are less people early in the morning, but the sunsets here can be amazing.
After dark, the pavilion is lit with orange lights, really orange lights, so if you want to really see the colors in all their glory get here during daylight hours.
Make sure to give yourself time to stroll down by the water and take in the awesome view of Catalina. It looked a lot closer than 26 miles away the night I was there.
Be sure to get a selfie with the totems at the walkway entrance (which I failed to do). 🙂
To see more photos from this location visit my Gallery.