[confirmed] Jongmyo, Seun Sangga, and Ikseon-dong: A Deep-Seoul Walk

Saturday, March 19, 2016 -
1:00pm to 5:00pm
Jongmyo Shrine, Seun Sangga, and Ikseon-dong
20,000W for members and 25,000W for non-members
Tour Leader: 
Robert J. Fouser

The excursion will begin at Jongmyo Shrine, one of the first three sites in Korea added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1995 (see the UNESCO description here). King Taejo, the first king of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), ordered the construction of the shrine in 1394 as a repository for memorial tablets for kings and queens of the then new dynasty. The shrine grew over the years, but was destroyed during the Japanese invasions of 1592 and 1598. The current complex of buildings dates from 1601, making it one of the oldest complexes of royal buildings in Seoul.

The complex centers on the Jeongjeon Hall (National Treasure #227), which has 19 rooms, each of which houses a memorial tablet for a Joseon Dynasty king and his queens. The hall is the longest traditional building in Korea. Other buildings in Jongmyo were used for storing musical instruments used in the annual Jongmyo Jerye memorial rituals honoring kings and queens. The rituals produced a unique form of court music, the Jerye-ak, which was placed on the UNSECO list of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2001.

After visiting Jongmyo, we will visit the Seun Sangga Shopping Center. In 1966, Kim Swoo-geun (1931-1986), one of Korea's most famous modern architects, developed the preliminary design for the buildings, the first mixed-use residential/commercial building complex in Korea. During the 1980s, the area was famous a large electronics market that helped popularize computers at the time. After a long controversy over redevelopment, the buildings have been saved and the city of Seoul is working on plans to revitalize the area, which has also been controversial.

Our final stop will be the hanok area in Ikseon-dong to the north of the Jongno 3-ga Station. Built by Jeong Se-gwon (1888-1965), the developer of the large hanok in Gahoi-dong 31 in Bukchon, the area is nearly completely intact example of a 1930s hanok development. Jeong developed the area before Gahoi-dong and applied ideas and techniques learned here to developing Gahoi-dong. Like many other areas with high concentrations of hanok, the area was threatened by demolition, but those plans have since been canceled and the area is now showing signs of gentrification as cafes and bars open. The excursion will end with an optional stop at Tteuran, a relaxing traditional teahouse in a typical Ikseon-dong hanok.

The excursion begins at 13:00 in front of the ticket windows to Jongmyo. Jongno 3-ga is the closest subway stop to Jongmyo. From Line 1, use Exit 11; from Lines 3 and 5, use exit 8.

Please register by Wednesday, March 16.

To register, click here OR send the information below to royalasiatickorea@gmail.com

TO: R.A.S.

NAME________________________________ MEMBER________ NON-MEMBER_________
NAME________________________________ MEMBER________ NON-MEMBER_________
PHONE NO. (MOBILE) ______________________ (OFFICE / HOME) ____________________

☞ Upon confirmation, make a payment to the following account:
Shinhan Bank Account # 100-026-383501 (RAS-KB)


The inside of the main building at Jongmyo shrine.

Contact Us

Royal Asiatic Society Korea Branch
Room 611, Korean Christian Building, Daehak-ro 19 (Yeonji-dong), Jongno-gu, Seoul 03129
[03129] 서울시 종로구 대학로 19 (연지동) 한국기독교회관 611호

Office is normally open as follows:

Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays & Saturdays:
                                   10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Wednesdays & Thursdays: 2:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Please call before your visit.
Phone (02) 763-9483 FAX (02) 766-3796

Email - royalasiatickorea@gmail.com

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