A day out around Jongmyo Shrine

 In blog

Jongmyo is the term used for a place where memorial services are performed for deceased kings, and Sajik is the term for a place where services for the Gods of Earth and Crops are performed.

The Shrine 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.Jongmyo01

Ritual ceremonies linking music, song and dance still take place there, perpetuating a tradition that goes back to the 14th century. It enshrines the memorial tablets of greatly honored kings and their queens, today containing 19 memorial tablets of kings and 30 tablets of their queens in 19 spirit chambers.

In addition to the two shrine halls, the Jongmyo compound has various halls that were used when preparing for the rites. The layout and structures of Jongmyo Shrine are very simple. The spirit chambers inside the halls where the spirit tablets are enshrined are decorated inside but the shrine halls have minimal adornment and project a sense of dignity and solemnity.

In Jeseon, a strict Confucian society, ceremonies to deceased ancestors were the most important of all rites. The ceremonies were presided over by the King and served as a model for all sacrificial rites in the dynasty. The ceremony has three distinct phases:
1. Welcoming of the Spirits
2. Entertaining them
3. Ushering them out
The ceremony previously was conducted five times a year but since 1971 it has been held on the first Sunday in May.

Admission Fees

Adults (ages 19 and over): KRW 1,000

Youths (ages 7-18): KRW 500

No group discounts. Free admission for children (ages 6 and under)DSC09673-500x332

Opening Hours

Guided Tours

Korean – 9 times a day / 09:20 – 16:20 (every hour), 17:00 (Mar. to Sep. only)

English – 10:00, 12:00, 14:00, 16:00

Japanese – 09:00, 09:40, 10:40, 11:40, 12:40, 13:40, 14:40, 15:40, 16:40 (Mar. to Sep. only)

Chinese – 11:00, 15:00jongmyo-shrine-7-yeongnyeongjeon

Getting there

By Subway

Exit 11 – Jongno 3 (sam)-ga Station Line 1.Walk for 7 mins from station.

Exit 8 – Jongno 3 (sam)-ga Station Line 3 or 5. Walk for 7 mins from station.

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