Upon its opening in 1908, Daehan Hospital was an ultra-modern facility, and few other hospitals in East Asia could rival it in terms of its size and the quality of its facilities. It laid the basis for modern medical science in Korea, recruiting a large number of doctors, establishing a treatment system based on specialties, and running a 4-year medical science course.
Designed by a Japanese architect belonging to the Takjibu (Finance Ministry), the building was erected on the site of Hamchunwon Garden, the rear garden of Changgyeonggung Palace, and a clock tower was erected at the center of the entrance.
Built according to classical western architectural techniques, including the Baroque style, it was regarded as one of the three leading structures in Seoul in the early 1900s, along with the buildings of the Choseon Bank (present-day Bank of Korea) and the Oriental Development Company.
Daehan Hospital was used by Imperial Japan in its attempt to interfere in the internal affairs of Joseon, but it was a result of the efforts made by Imperial Korea (1897-1910) for modernization.