Heritage of South Korea

With a history that dates back to the Bronze Age and well-preserved historical sites, the heritage of South Korea represents the rich culture and traditions of the country's past. Presently South Korea flaunts an interesting mix of contemporary architecture alongside the several heritage sites of yesteryears.

The heritage of South Korea serves as a binding factor between the past and present generations. The leading heritage sites of South Korea inscribed in the UNESCO's World Heritage List are-

  • Seokguram Grotto and Bulguksa Temple
  • Changdeokgung Palace Complex
  • Jongmyo Shrine
  • Hwaseong Fortress

Seokguram Grotto and Bulguksa Temple

The Seokguram Grotto was set up on the slopes of Mount T'oham during the 8th century. It encloses a monumental statue of the Buddha, in bhumisparsha mudra looking into the sea. The Seokguram Grotto is regarded as a masterpiece of Buddhist art in the Far East with its surrounding portrayals of gods, disciples and Bodhisattvas. The Temple of Bulguksa, constructed in 774, together with the Seokguram Grotto form a religious architectural complex of immense significance.

Changdeokgung Palace Complex

This heritage site is an outstanding demonstration of architecture and garden design of Far Eastern palace. Changdeokgung Palace Complex is outstanding for the manner in which the buildings are incorporated into the natural setting.

Changdeokgung Palace Complex consists of public official buildings, king's residence along with a backyard garden and is of the great examples of the heritage of South Korea.

Jongmyo Shrine

It is one of the oldest preserved Confucian royal shrines and was dedicated in honor of the forefathers of the Joseon dynasty. The Jongmyo Shrine has been in existence since the 16th century and comprises of tablets which bear the teachings of the former royal family members. It constitutes the Jeongjeon (the main hall), Yeongnyeongjeon (the Hall of Eternal Peace), and supplementary conveniences.

The Jongmyo Shrine of splendid architectural simplicity is an invaluable cultural inheritance which was registered on UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage List in 1995.

Hwaseong Fortress

Located in Suwon City, of Gyeonggi-do Province, the Hwaseong Fortress characterizes the latest features of Korean fortification. The construction of the fortress was planned by the 22nd king of the Joseon Dynasty, Jeongjo. The fortress spreads out on both flatland and hilly terrain and it was designed to serve commercial, political and military functions.

The Hwaseong Fortress encloses downtown Suwon City covering a total area of 5.52 km. It was registered on UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage List in 1997 and is one of the best examples of the heritage of South Korea.

The other UNESCO World heritage sites in South Korea are-
  • Haeinsa Temple Janggyeong Panjeon, the Depositories for the Tripitaka Koreana Woodblocks
  • Gochang, Hwasun, and Ganghwa Dolmen Sites
  • Gyeongju Historic Areas


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