Korea Chronicles | Jongmyo Shrine

Friday, August 29, 2014 Veronica Joyce 0 Comments

/ Day 7 /

On my 7th day in Korea (and my last day in Seoul), my former students, Kathy & Rachel, and I decided to go to Jongno-gu. We agreed on our itinerary the night before - first was Jongmyo Shrine, next stop was Tapgol Park and last but not the least, Cheonggyecheon. We were to meet Clara (their cousin and another former student) in the afternoon as she would take me to her house in Bundang where I'd stay for two nights before I travel to Busan. 

Anyway, my 7th day in Korea fell on a national holiday and a lot of stores and restaurants were close then. We reached Jongno-gu an hour before lunch, so, we had a bit of a hard time looking for a place to eat, plus, it was extremely hot that day! So after a few minutes of walking under the scorching sun (and getting lost a few times), we decided to go to Jongmyo Shrine instead of having lunch first.

The entrance fee to the Shrine is 1000 won (approx. $1). At that time, the English guided tour was not available and it was a Korean guide who was on schedule. To maximize our time, we decided to take the Korean tour. While I didn't understand a thing, I had a lovely time looking around.

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"Jongmyo is the oldest and most authentic of the Confucian royal shrines to have been preserved. Dedicated to the forefathers of the Joseon dynasty (1392–1910), the shrine has existed in its present form since the 16th century and houses tablets bearing the teachings of members of the former royal family. Ritual ceremonies linking music, song and dance still take place there, perpetuating a tradition that goes back to the 14th century." [source]

Jongmyo Shrine is a UNESCO World Heritage site. And it is really amazing how a huge part of it has been kept for the younger ones and future generations to see. It is admirable how Koreans value such tangible and intangible treasures. Even more awesome is the Korean tour guide who stood in the middle of the steaming hot grounds for more than an hour, apparently speaking from memory (what I can only assume as) amazing facts about the shrine.

Check out other posts in the Korea Chronicles!

Day 3: Myeongdong Catholic Cathedral | Lotte World
Day 4: Bongeunsa | Seokchon Lake
Day 5: Gyeongbokgung Part I | Gyeongbokgung Part II
           Gyeongbokgung Part III | Gwanghwamun Square
Day 6: Seoul Forest  | Namsangol Hanok Village | Han River::Banpo Bridge

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