Saturday, May 31, 2014

Jongmyo Shrine (종묘)

Jongjeon houses the spirit tablets of the kings and queens with many accomplishments.

     The Koreans have always placed importance in preserving their cultures and traditions.  They preserved and restored well their cultural sites.  One of the most beautiful shrines I’ve seen so far is the Chongmyo Shrine or Jongmyo Shrine.

     I loved it and enjoyed every minute and every part of this shrine.  Even the ambiance is so peaceful and cold.  I’m glad my friends granted my wish to visit Jongmyo Shrine, a UNESCO World Heritage site listed in 1995.  It was built by King Taejo of Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) and embodies Confucian ideals.

     Jongmyo Shrine houses the spirit tablets of the kings and queens of the Joseon Dynasty.  In addition to the tablet, there is a panel listing of king's accomplishment.

     From the entrance, the slightly raised path called samdo path will lead you to Jeongjeon.  The east path is for the king, the west for the crown prince, and the middle is for the spirits of the royal ancestors.  Thus, we were not allowed to walk the path for spirits.

     Jongjeon, the main hall, where the mortuary tablets are preserved and memorial services are held, has 19 spirit chambers.  The architecture is very simple and with no ornamentation.  However, it is grand and impressive.

     Beside it is the Yeongnyeongjeon, Hall of Eternal Comfort, it was built to house all the tablets which could no longer be accommodated in the main hall.  The facilities and layout are similar to Jeongjeon, but it is smaller and more intimate.  Yeongnyeongjeon has 16 spirit chambers and hold the spirit tablets of kings and queens with few accomplishments.

     Until now, the memorial service called “Jongmyo Jaerye” – the oldest complete ceremony in the world, is reenacted annually every first Sunday of May.  The ceremony comes with musical part called Jongmyo Jaeryeak; produced by traditional Korean instruments, songs, and dances originated over 500 years ago.

Admission Fees:
  Adults (ages 19 and over) - 1,000 won
  Youths (ages 7-18) - 500 won
   *Guided tour
   *Closed on Tuesday

How to get there?
  Jongno-3(sam)-ga Station (Subway Line 1), Exit 11, then 10 minutes walk from station
  or Jongno-3(sam)-ga Station (Subway Line 3, 5) Exit 8, then 10 minutes walk from station

Yeongnyeongjeon - the elevated roof in the center, under it is the four spirit chambers for ancestors of the preceding four generations of King Taejo (founder of the Joseon Dynasty).

Jungjidang Pond - the island in the middle with Juniper tree symbolizes the sky and the square shape wall surrounding it symbolizes earth.

Samdo Path

Room for the crown prince

Room for the king


Ryan said...

ang ganda :)

Bubbles said...

Thanks! :)

Liza Lagua said...

Love every picture on your blog :) you're so galing shiela. :)

Bubbles said...

Thanks Liza! :)