(LA Trend) — The Korean Bell of Friendship is one of the most iconic landmarks in the San Pedro neighborhood of Los Angeles, and it sits on an idyllic spot in the beautiful Angels Gate Park, occupying part of the former Upper Reservation of Fort MacArthur.
The bell is located on a hill that overlooks the Pacific Ocean and boasts breathtaking views of the south Los Angeles bay area. It’s the perfect spot to take a leisurely stroll, capture some excellent photography, fly a kite, or simply relax on the grass and enjoy the sights.
And for fans of pop culture, you’ll be delighted to know that the Korean Bell of Friendship has been featured in the acclaimed film, The Usual Suspects, as well as music videos for Lana Del Rey and South Korean rapper Zico. Be sure to take some selfies here and impress your friends on Instagram!
This unique monument boasts 17 tons of tin and copper, measures 7.5 feet in diameter, averages 8 inches thick, and stands 12 feet high. The surface is decorated with four figures with each featuring an homage to the “Goddess of Liberty,” a Korean spirit figure similar in depiction to the Statue of Liberty.
The bell is housed in a pavilion, known as the Belfry of Friendship, that was built by South Korean craftsmen and features a traditional design that consists of a hipped roof supported by twelve columns that represent the Korean zodiac, with each column guarded by a carved animal. The striking color pattern of the pavilion is known in Korean as “dancheong”, which consists of five basic colors: blue (east), white (west), red (south), black (north), and yellow (center).
The Korean Bell of Friendship also has the distinction of being one of the largest bells in the world, and was modeled after the Divine Bell of King Seongdeok the Great of Silla (aka the Emille Bell) that was cast in 771 for Bongdeok Temple and is now located in the National Museum of Gyeongju.
The bell was presented as a gift to the United States in 1976 to celebrate its bicentennial and to symbolize the friendship between the two countries. Since 2010, the Korean Bell of Friendship has been ceremonially struck only five times a year: on New Year’s Eve, Korean American Day (January 13), the Fourth of July, Korean Liberation Day (August 15), and Constitution Day (September 17).
The Korean Bell of Friendship is located in Angels Gate Park at 3601 Gaffey St, San Pedro, CA 90731.
Want to make a day trip out of your visit? Check out our recent article to plan a scenic drive down the Palos Verde Peninsula on your way to see the Korean Bell of Friendship.