|Royal Tombs of the Koryo Dynasty|
|Hancha||高麗 王 陵|
|Revised Romanization||Goryeo wangneung|
The Royal Tombs of the Koryo Dynasty are a group of tombs of members of the Korean Koryo Dynasty (918-1392).
A tomb is a repository for the remains of the dead. It is generally any structurally enclosed interment space or burial chamber, of varying sizes.
Korea is a region in East Asia. Since 1948, it has been divided between two distinct sovereign states: North Korea and South Korea. Korea consists of the Korean Peninsula, Jeju Island, and several minor islands near the peninsula. Korea is bordered by China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and neighbours Japan to the east by the Korea Strait and the Sea of Japan.
The royal tombs are scattered around southwestern North Hwanghae Province, with most of them located within 20 kilometers of Kaesong, the Koryo capital. Most tombs are located in Kaepung County, which borders Kaesong to the west, though there are also a significant number in Changpung county, which borders Kaesong to the east. Some tombs, all unidentified, are also located within Kaesong itself.
North Hwanghae Province is a province of North Korea. The province was formed in 1954 when the former Hwanghae Province was split into North and South Hwanghae. The provincial capital is Sariwon. The province is bordered by Pyongyang and South Pyongan to the north, Kangwon to the east, Kaesong Industrial Region and South Korea's Gyeonggi Province to the south, and South Hwanghae southwest. In 2003, Kaesong Directly Governed City became part of North Hwanghae.
Kaesong is a city in North Hwanghae Province in the southern part of North Korea, a former Directly Governed City and the capital of Korea during the Taebong kingdom and subsequent Goryeo dynasty. The city is near the Kaesong Industrial Region close to the border with South Korea and contains the remains of the Manwoldae palace. Called Songdo while it was the ancient capital of Goryeo, the city prospered as a trade centre that produced Korean ginseng. Kaesong now functions as the DPRK's light industry centre.
Koryo-era royal tombs followed the guidelines outlined in Chinese Confucian texts, such as the Book of Rites (Li Ji) and the Rites of Zhou (Zhou Li). Many factors went into consideration when deciding the location of a tomb, such as the distance from Kaesong, the distance in relation to other royal tombs, the accessibility of the location, and the tradition of Feng Shui (known as 'pungsu' in Korean). The tomb construction also took into account traditional burial rituals of Korea and the natural environment.
The Book of Rites or Lǐjì is a collection of texts describing the social forms, administration, and ceremonial rites of the Zhou dynasty as they were understood in the Warring States and the early Han periods. The Book of Rites, along with the Rites of Zhou (Zhōulǐ) and the Book of Etiquette and Rites (Yílǐ), which are together known as the "Three Li (Sānlǐ)," constitute the ritual (lǐ) section of the Five Classics which lay at the core of the traditional Confucian canon. As a core text of the Confucian canon, it is also known as the Classic of Rites or Lijing, which some scholars believe was the original title before it was changed by Dai Sheng.
The Rites of Zhou, originally known as "Officers of Zhou" is actually a work on bureaucracy and organizational theory. It was renamed by Liu Xin to differentiate it from a chapter in the Book of History by the same name. To replace a lost work, it was included along with the Book of Rites and the Etiquette and Ceremonial – becoming one of three ancient ritual texts listed among the classics of Confucianism.
Hyonrung (현릉/顯 陵), also known as the Tomb of King Wanggon, is the tomb of King Taejo (877-943, r. 918-943), founder of the Koryo dynasty. Taejo, who adopted that name upon ascending the throne, was the first king to unify the entire Korean peninsula after subjugation the southern states of Silla and Paekje. Construction on the tomb began after the king's death in 943. He was buried with his favorite wife, Queen Sinhye. The tomb was heavily reconstructed in 1994, and all of the original buildings and statues were cleared away in order to accomplish its "restoration". Today, the burial chamber is open to tourists, and displays the coffins containing the remains of Taejo and his queen, as well as the tomb's original carved decorations. Hyonrung is located on the side of Mt. Mansu in Haeson-ri, Kaepung County, and is listed as North Korean National Treasure #179. In the valley behind the tomb is the Chilrunggun, a group of seven tombs containing the remains of various princes, princesses, and concubines.
Taejo of Goryeo, also known as Taejo Wang Geon , was the founder of the Goryeo dynasty, which ruled Korea from the 10th to the 14th century. Taejo ruled from 918 to 943, achieving unification of the Later Three Kingdoms in 936.
Silla was a kingdom located in southern and central parts of the Korean Peninsula. Silla, along with Baekje and Goguryeo, formed the Three Kingdoms of Korea.
Chongrung (정릉/貞 陵) is the tomb of Queen Sinsong, a wife of King Taejo. The tomb is in poor condition, with only its earthen burial mound and some stone pillars remaining. It is located in Hwagok-ri, Kaepung County, and is listed as North Korean Cultural Asset #573.
Designated cultural assets of North Korea are tangible artifacts, sites, and buildings deemed to have significant historical or artistic value. They are not, however, considered important enough to merit designation as a national treasure.
Anrung (안릉/安 陵) is the burial place of King Jongjong (923-949, r. 946-949), third monarch of the Koryo dynasty. It is in fair condition, with its burial mound, with stone base, and two guardian statues intact. Wall murals found in the burial chamber depict landscapes and hunting scenes, while the ceiling is painted with 28 stars and six constellations. The murals in the tomb are considered an important link to earlier Koguryo tomb art. Anrung is located on the south face of Kaesong's Namsan in Konam-ri, Kaepung County, next to Yangrung. It is listed as North Korean Cultural Asset #552.
Honrung (헌릉/憲 陵) is the tomb of King Kwangjong (925-975, r. 949-975), fourth monarch of the Koryo dynasty. The tomb survives in fair condition, though it is missing its guardian statues. It is located in Samgo-ri, Kaesong, and is listed as North Korean Cultural Asset #545.
Yongrung (영릉/榮 陵) contains the remains of King Kyongjong (955-981, r. 975-981), fifth monarch of the Koryo dynasty. The tomb is good condition, with its original stone railings and guardian statues. It is located on the side of Mt. Jinbong in Panmun, Kaepung County, and is listed as North Korean Cultural Asset #569.
Kangrung (강릉/康 陵) is the tomb of King Songjong (960-997, r. 981-997), sixth monarch of the Koryo dynasty. Nothing remains of his tomb but its earthen burial mound. It is located near Jinbong-ri, Kaepung County, and is listed as North Korean Cultural Asset #567.
Sonrung (선릉/宣 陵) is the burial place of King Hyonjong (992-1031, r. 1009-1031), eighth monarch of the Koryo dynasty. Next to his grave are two tombs known as Sonrunggun Tomb #2 & 3, which contain the remains of two unknown relatives. Though Sonrung is in good condition, the other two are in a state of disrepair, with Tomb #3 in addition having lost its guardian deities. The three graves are located in Haeson-ri, Kaepung County, and are listed as North Korean Cultural Asset #547.
Konrung (건릉/乾 陵) and Wonrung (원릉/元 陵) are respectively the tombs of Anjongok and Queen Dowager Honjong, the parents of King Hyonjong. The tombs are in good condition, though not particularly elaborate. The two graves are located in Hyonhwa Valley in Wolgo-ri, Changpung County. They are listed as North Korean Cultural Assets #572 & 571, respectively.
Kyongrung (경릉/景 陵) is the tomb of King Munjong (1019-1083, r. 1046-1083), 11th monarch of the Koryo dynasty. Though his tomb remains intact, it is severely weathered. It is located in Kyongrung-dong near Sonjuk-ri, Changpung County, and is listed as North Korean Cultural Asset #570.
Songrung (성릉/成 陵) is the burial place of King Sunjong (1047-1083, r. 1083), 12th monarch of the Koryo dynasty, who died within a year of ascending the throne. His tomb is very small, but in intact. It is located near Jinbong-ri in Kaepung County, and is listed as North Korean Cultural Asset #568.
Yurung (유릉/裕 陵) contains the remains of King Yejong (1097-1122, r. 1105-1122), 16th monarch of the Koryo dynasty. Almost nothing remains of it. It is located near Osan-ri in Kaepung County.
Yangrung (양릉/陽 陵) is the tomb of King Sinjong (1144-1204, r. 1197-1204), 20th monarch of the Koryo dynasty. It is in poor condition, with only the earthen burial mound and one guardian statue still remaining. Slightly damaged wall murals found in the burial chamber depict 158 dogs, while the ceiling is decorated with constellations including the Big Dipper. As with Anrung, the murals in the tomb are considered an important link to earlier Koguryo tomb art. Yangrung is located on the south face of Kaesong's Namsan in Konam-ri, Kaepung County, next to Anrung. It is listed as North Korean Cultural Asset #553.
Hurung (후릉/厚 陵) contains the remains of King Kangjong (1152-1213, r. 1211-1213), 22nd monarch of the Koryo dynasty. Almost nothing remains of it. It is located near Hyonhwa-ri in Kaepung County. It is not to be confused with the nearby tomb of the same name belonging to King Jongjong of the Choson dynasty.
Sorung (소릉/昭 陵) is the burial place of King Wonjong (1214-1274, r. 1260-1274), 24th monarch of the Koryo dynasty. Wonjong was the last Koguryo monarch to be titled Temple name due to the Mongol invasion. Near to his grave are five tombs known as Sorunggun Tombs #2, 3, 4, and 5, which contain the remains of four unknown relatives. With the exception of Tomb #3, all of the tombs are in good repair. The five graves are located in Sorung Valley in Ryonghung-dong, Kaesong, and are listed as North Korean Cultural Asset #562.
Myongrung (명릉/明 陵) is the burial place of King Chungmok (1337-1348, r. 1344-1348), 29th monarch of the Koryo dynasty. Near to his grave are two tombs known as Myongrunggun Tombs #2 and 3, which contain the remains of two unknown relatives. The tombs are all in fair condition, weathered but intact. The three graves are located in Yonrung-ri in Kaepung County; Myongrung itself is listed as North Korean Cultural Asset #549, while the Tombs #2 and 3 are listed as Cultural Asset #169.
Hyonjongrung (현정릉/玄 正 陵), better known as the Tomb of King Kongmin is the burial place of King Kongmin (1330-1374, r. 1351-1374), 31st monarch of the Koryo dynasty, and his wife, the Mongolian princess Noguk. It is the best-preserved of the Koryo dynasty royal tombs, and a popular tourist site. Construction on the tombs began after Queen Noguk's death in 1365, and was completed seven years later in 1372. The tombs consist of a carved granite base topped with a small hill; they are surrounded by statues of sheep and tigers, representing the nations of Korea and Mongolia respectively. The "spirit road" up to the tombs is lined with statues of military officers and Confucian officials. Their placement was an important consideration for the king, and many geomancers, astrologers, and mathematicians were consulted to make sure the site had good feng shui. Unfortunately,the tomb's relics were lost in 1905 when the tomb chamber was blasted open with dynamite and looted by the Japanese; most of the relics inside were believed to be taken to Japan, though Kongmin's coffin is exhibited in the Koryo Museum in Kaesong. The tomb is located in Haeson-ri, Kaepung County, and is listed as North Korean National Treasure #123.
Goryeo was a Korean kingdom founded in 918, during a time of national division called the Later Three Kingdoms period, that unified and ruled the Korean Peninsula until 1392. Goryeo achieved what has been called a "true national unification" by Korean historians as it not only unified the Later Three Kingdoms but soon afterward incorporated much of the ruling class of the northern kingdom of Balhae, who had origins in Goguryeo of the earlier Three Kingdoms of Korea. The name "Korea" is derived from the name of Goryeo, also spelled Koryŏ, which was first used in the early 5th century by Goguryeo.
Gangjong was the 22nd ruler of the Goryeo dynasty of Korea. He was the eldest son of King Myeongjong. His mother was Queen Gwangjeong, a Kim, and his wife was Queen Wondeok, a Yu and the daughter of Sin An-hu.
Gyeongsun of Silla was the 56th and final ruler of the Korean kingdom of Silla.
Wongudan Altar, located in Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea, was built in 1897 to serve as a site for the performance of the rite of heaven. The site was also known by other names, such as Hwangudan, Jecheondan and Wondan. Wongudan was designated South Korea's Historic Site No. 157 on July 15, 1967.
The Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty refers to the 40 tombs of members of the Korean Joseon Dynasty (1392–1910). These tombs are scattered in over 18 locations across South Korea. They were built to honor and respect the ancestors and their achievements, and assert their royal authority. The tombs have been registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2009.
Koryo Songgyungwan University (고려성균관) or University of Light Industry is an educational institution in North Korean city of Kaesong. The university was founded in 992 with the name Kukchagam. It was renamed Songgyungam in 1298 and Songgyungwan in 1308.
Taehung Castle is a mountain fortress of the early Goryeo period, located outside Kaesŏng, North Hwanghae Province, North Korea. Originally encompassing both Mts. Chŏnma and Songgo, the castle was first founded as a fortress for the defense of the capital, encircled by over 10 kilometers of stone walls. Today, many of the walls have become overgrown ruins.
The Kaesong Folk Hotel is a tourist hotel located in Kaesong, North Korea, which opened in 1989. Housed in 19 traditional hanok-style courtyard houses, many of which date to the Joseon dynasty and retain their original furnishings. The complex has 50 rooms, a traditional restaurant and a souvenir shop. The houses themselves are located on both sides of the stream that runs through Kaesong, with some located at the foot of Mt. Janam.
Sungyang Hall is a fourteenth-century Confucian academy located on the side of Mt. Janam in Kaesong, North Korea. The hall was constructed in the late fourteenth century for the home of the famously loyal statesman and Confucian scholar Jong Mong-ju, whose 1392 assassination by the agents of the later Taejo of Joseon marked the end of the Koryo dynasty. In 1573, the building was transformed into a Confucian academy.
The Tomb of King Kongmin, more correctly known as the Hyonjongrung Royal Tomb, is a 14th-century mausoleum located in Haeson-ri, Kaepung County just outside the city of Kaesong, North Korea. It is one of the Royal Tombs of the Koryo Dynasty.
The Tomb of King Wanggŏn, more correctly known as the Hyŏllŭng Royal Tomb, is a mausoleum located Haesong-ri, Kaepung County near Kaesŏng, North Korea. The tomb belongs to the founder of the Goryeo Dynasty, Wanggeon, who adopted the name Taejo upon ascending the throne and was the first king to unify the entire Korean peninsula after subjugation the southern states of Silla and Baekje. Construction on the tomb began after the king's death in 943. Nonetheless, by the end of the occupation period there was little left of the original tomb, which had deteriorated due to abandonment and looting by Japanese forces. The tomb was heavily reconstructed in 1994, and all of the original buildings and statues were cleared away in order to accomplish its "restoration". The site is nominated for World Heritage status.
Kwanŭm-sa is a Korean Buddhist temple located within Taehung Castle on Mt. Chonma near Kaesong, North Korea. The site is one of the National Treasures of North Korea. Named after Guanyin, the buddhist bodhisattva of compassion, this small temple is located in the beautiful valley between Mts. Chonma and Songgo. The temple was founded in 970 when a monk deposited two marble statues of the goddess in a cave behind the temple's current location. The temple itself was constructed in 1393 under the Koryo Dynasty, and later renovated in 1646 under the Joseon. The site contains many ancient relics, including a seven-story pagoda from the Koryo dynasty and the ancient Guanyin statues in Kwanum Cave. The doors of the main shrine, known as the Taeung Hall, are decorated with carved flowers and leaves; an old legend relays why the decorations on one door are unfinished. During the reconstruction of the temple during the Joseon dynasty, one of the main carvers was a twelve-year-old boy named Unna, famed for his skill in carving. One day, while working on the temple, he heard his mother was seriously ill, and asked to be allowed to visit her. He was refused, and his mother died shortly after. He blamed himself and his skillful hands for his mother's death, and so out of grief used his carving axe to chop off his hand. He then disappeared into the forest, never to be seen again. Today, a carving of a boy with one hand ascending to heaven on the back of a white tiger can still be seen on the unfinished door.
Kaep'ung County is a county in North Hwanghae province, North Korea. Formerly part of the Kaesong urban area, the county was merged with North Hwanghae when Kaesong was demoted in 2003. The area is the site of the royal tombs of kings Kongmin and Wanggon.
The Hurŭng Royal Tomb is a 15th-century mausoleum located in Ryongjong-ri, Kaepung-gun near Kaesong, North Korea. The site consists of two separate burial mounds, which contain the remains of Jongjong, the second king of the Joseon dynasty and son of its founder Taejo, as well as the body of his wife, Queen Jongan. Construction on the tombs began after Jongan's death in 1412, and was only completed after Jongjong himself died in 1419. Both tombs consist of a burial mound ringed with a carved granite base; they are surrounded by statues of the twelve zodiac animals. The "spirit road" up to the tombs is lined with statues of military officers and Confucian officials.
The Cherŭng Royal Tomb is a 15th-century mausoleum located in Chi-dong, Kaepung-gun near Kaesong, North Korea. The site contains the body of Queen Sinui, first wife of Joseon dynasty founder Yi Songgye. Construction on the tombs began after her death in 1392; as she died before her husband overthrew the Goryeo dynasty to become king, she was buried at the Goryeo-era capital of Kaesong. After Yi took the throne, restyling himself as King Taejo, she was posthumously awarded the title of "queen". The burial mound is ringed with a carved granite base, while the "spirit road" leading to the tomb is lined with statues of military officers and Confucian officials.
Anhwa-sa is a Korean Buddhist temple located on Mt. Songak in the historic city of Kaesong, North Korea. Once one of the smallest of the many temples in Kaesong, today it is the only one to have survived the Korean War.
The Walled City of Kaesong surround the royal castle, Manwoldae. The walls have a total length of 23 km and are partially preserved.
The Kaesong Chomsongdae Observatory is located in Songak-dong, Kaesong, North Korea. It was an astronomical observatory during the Koryo period. Now only a granite platform remains, the sides of which coincide with the main cardinal points.