What School Was 'Boys Over Flowers' Filmed in?

Before BTS, there was South Korea's version of the Flower Four (F4). 

"Boys Over Flowers" (꽃보다 남자), the high-rating 2009 TV adaptation of the shōjo manga "Hana Yori Dango," introduced matinee idols Lee Min-ho, Kim Hyun-joong, Kim Bum and Kim Joon to shrieking fans all over Asia. With barely any pop record between them, the dashing foursome spread the gospel of K-drama in no time, planting the seeds of Hallyu as a global cultural phenomenon. 

Years after the KBS series folded, fans still find themselves asking: Is Shinhwa High School real? Or was it just a fever dream from living life through endearing everywoman Geum Jan-di (금잔디, played by Koo Hye-sun)?

Some have flown to Seoul even before they can get an answer. We're sorry to tell you but that would be the wrong city to look for Gu Jun-pyo (구준표), Yoon Ji-hu (윤지후), So Yi-jung (소이정), and Song Woo-bin (송우빈). 

If you really want to know what school was Boys Over Flowers filmed at, you'll need to leave Seoul and travel 237 kilometers south to the industrial city of Daegu. Here you'll find classy Keimyung University, the main filming location for the series. 

The pillared main gate of Keimyung University makes for a grand entrance. Photo below taken with a Samsung L100 by kowp/Kimhs5400

Where they shot Boys Over Flowers

Keimyung University was the perfect stand-in for Shinhwa School. It's not hard to picture F4 terrorizing the institution as it's one of the most elite universities in the country, with a reported admission rate of up to 30%. One of the top 50 universities in Korea, the institution—owned by a chaebol onscreen but really run by evangelical Christians in real life—physically comes across as a "school made for the 1%, attended by the 1%, and fit for the 1%." With its neoclassical brick buildings, stately columned porticos, ivy-encrusted walls, and vivid autumn foliage, Keimyung certainly is...almost paradise.

Keimyung is so big that it is spread out into two campuses: Seongseo and Daemyung. "Boys Over Flowers" was filmed in both areas, as well as the university's ChangeUp Campus - Yangpyeong Camp, formerly part of the Gyeonggi English Village.  

The imposing Main Administration Building in the Seongseo campus takes center stage in the show's opening scenes. It's hard to miss it.

Keimyung University's Main Administration Building appears several times in the series. Above photo taken with an iPhone 6 by Tndus1108

Nestled on the hilly portion of the Seongseo campus is another photogenic filming location for Shinhwa School: Keimyung's Adams Chapel. Students gladly make the ascent to the chapel, the highest building on campus, to hear the pipe organ performances. 

The Adams Chapel, below as pictured in the series, is the highest building in the Seongseo campus of Keimyung University. Above photo taken with a Sony DSC-W300 by Jens-Olaf Walter

The chapel got its name from university founder Rev. Edward Adams of the Northern Presbyterian Church, who in 1954 transformed the complex into a non-secular college, the Keimyung Christian Educational Institute. But the institute actually started out in 1899 as Jejungwon, which would become Dongsan Hospital.

Now you're almost ready to recreate your favorite scenes in Shinhwa School. But first, you'll want to know how to get to Daegu from Incheon Airport. 

How to go to Daegu from Seoul 

From Incheon Airport, hop on the KTX, a high-speed train that cuts your travel to Daegu to 1 hour and 34 minutes. Tickets start at $57. 

When you're in Daegu, take Metro Line 2, hop off Gangchang Station, and head for Exit 6

Boy with Luv Over Flowers

You might not catch Lee Min Ho or his fictional character in Daegu, but you can catch another dreamboat in town...V (Kim Tae-hyung) of BTS was born and raised here! 


Popular Posts