Tombs of Gyeongju


One of the most amazing things about Gyeongju are the magnificent tombs that seem to be everywhere. The main cluster of these are located in Tumuli Park or rather the Daereungwon Tomb Complex. This is a beautiful park that is a much needed green space in Korea. To be honest one of the things that I love about the area is that there is just so much green.

Destination: Uireung (Seoul)

I blogged about Uireung over a year ago, as the sort of place one stumbles across while looking for something else. With my Joseon-Dynasty tomb quest now in full swing, it’s high time for a revisit.

Located in Seoul, Uireung is easy enough to reach; while it lacks the sereneness of the more rural tombs, it’s an excellent starting point to learn about the historic elements.

Destination: Jeongneung (Seoul)

Not too many tombs left in the Joseon Dynasty tomb quest! Jeongneung is a reminder of how much power people had in the afterlife, and that your rank can still fluctuate even after death.

Jeongneung (정능) is the burial place of Queen Sindeok (신덕왕후 강씨, 神德王后, ?-1396) – second wife of King Taejo (the first Joseon-Dynasty king) and mother to . While located in Seoul, Jeongneung will require some looking to find – it’s at the top of a hill, past a residential area and not far from a traditional Korean market.

Destination: Heolleung / Illeung (Seoul)

Just because it’s the winter doesn’t mean the Joseon Dynasty tomb quest is on hold. I can’t control the weather, but the snow does make some scenes come alive quite nicely.

Tucked behind an outdoor market and a couple hundred meters from the main road are two Joseon-dynasty tombs. While Heolleung and Illeung are in Seoul, the hustle and bustle of the city are quite far away. The result is a quiet, peaceful place to play in the snow, picnic, or whatever the season may allow.

Destination: Taereung and the Royal Tomb Museum (Seoul)

In my continuing quest to see every Joseon Dynasty tomb in Korea, I found my way up to Taereung - one of the few within Seoul city proper, and the place where a shiny Royal Tomb Museum can be toured as well.

Opened on December 24, 2009, the Royal Tomb Museum details the procedures of a State Funeral, a large amount of information about how the tombs were constructed, and how they were cared for after construction.

Destination: Gwangneung (Namyangju, Gyeonggi-do)

The first thing to know about Gwangneung is that it holds King Sejo on the left and Queen Jeonghui on the right. The second thing to know is that the tombs are part of the Korea National Arboretum, and feature some old trees that have managed to stay vertical through all of Korea's turmoil. The third thing to know is that it's far enough out of Seoul to make it a good day trip. One of Korea's Historic Sites (#197), this 'Royal Tomb of Brilliance' is my latest addition to my Joseon-Dynasty quest.

Destination: Yungneung and Geolleung (Suwon area, Gyeonggi-do)

He spent several days forcibly locked in a rice box before finally dying. Born Crown Prince Jangheon, his father allowed him to manage the affairs of the state because of his smarts. Although he was never actually king, he was the victim of a political conspiracy from the rival Old Doctrine faction. It wasn't until after his death that he was named Crown Prince Sado by King Yeongjo (his father), and later named Emperor Jangjo by then-Emperor Gojong in 1899.

Destination: Seooreung (Goyang)

Just across the Seoul border rest some once-royal dead people. UNESCO certified as being significant to world culture, these western (서, or seo) five (오, or o) tombs (릉, reung or neung) are the original remains of Joseon-dynasty royalty. At over 1,600,000 square meters, there's plenty of room to meander and enjoy the area - and these days there's more than five tombs to see.

Destination: Tomb hunting in Gyeongju

While in town to see Bulguksa and Seokguram Grotto, my girlfriend and I meandered through the downtown area of Gyeongju. The city is known as a 'museum without walls' for a reason. Many of the ancient displays are right there for the public to see - and there's more to see than you'll have time for. Since there's quite a few sights within walking distance, we stored our stuff in a locker at the bus terminal and headed out.

Destination: Cheonggwonsa - a shrine, a tomb, and a forest to boot

Like most shrines located in Seoul, Cheonggwonsa (sa can mean either temple or shrine, thus Cheonggwon Shrine) preserves memories of the past so as to be understood for the present and future. While not precisely a tourist site - and definitely not touristy in one area - it's a quiet and peaceful place to get away from city life.

Syndicate content

Koreabridge - RSS Feeds 
Features @koreabridge     Blogs  @koreablogs
Jobs @koreabridgejobs  Classifieds @kb_classifieds

Koreabridge - Facebook Group