Jongmyo shrine is the shrine where the royal ancestral tablets of deceased kings and queens are enshrined and sacrificial rites are performed for them.
Jongmyo is the shrine where the royal ancestral tablets of deceased kings and queens are enshrined and sacrificial rites are performed for them. Its construction began in December, 1394 shortly after King Taejo, the founder of Joseon Dynasty, moved the seat of his throne to Hanyang, the present day Seoul, from Gaeseong.
The construction was completed in September, 1395. It is no exaggeration to say that the spirit of the Joseon Dynasty is here as a shrine dedicated to the gods of the kings and queens of the Joseon Dynasty.
Architecturally, the least amount of space that excludes decoration stands out. When King Taejo Lee Seong-gye, the founder of Joseon Dynasty, moved the capital, Jongmyo was the first to build the site. The newly crowned king was also the first to come to the Jongmyo Shrine to hold a bow and hold a memorial services.
The ancestral rites held at Jongmyo Shrine are called ‘Jongmyo Jerye’ a national event dating from the Three Kingdoms Period, which became the spiritual pillar of the country and the basis of its ruling order.
“Jongmyo Jerye” is a UNESCO-designated world intangible heritage along with “Jongmyo Jeryeak” a dance and music accompanying the ritual.
[Jongmyo] Historic Site No. 125 (designated on January 18, 1963)
Tour Course Information
Course 1 (for 200 people or less)
Main gate – King Gongmin Shrine – Mangmyoru Pavilion – Hyangdaecheong – Jaegung Palace – Jeongjeon Hall – Yeongnyeongjeon Hall – Akgongcheong – Main gate
Course 2 (for more than 200 people)
Main gate – Jaegung Palace – Jeongjeon Hall – Yeongnyeongjeon Hall – Akgongcheong – Hyangdaecheong – Mangmyoru Pavilion – King Gongmin Shrine – Main gate
– Visitors may enter Jongmyo Shrine only in a guided tour group at specific times on weekdays (except Tuesdays) and Sundays. On Saturdays, visitors may enter at their leisure. Please refer to Interpretation Services Offered for the group tour schedule.
– Visitors may be divided into two groups in order to avoid overcrowding.
– Up to 300 people are allowed inside Jongmyo Shrine at a time.
[Guided Tours] Hours vary by offered language
[General Viewing] Saturdays & last Wednesday of each month
February-May, September-October 09:00-18:00
– Last admission is 1 hour before closing
Adults (ages 19 and over): 1,000 won / Children & Teenagers (ages 7-18): 500 won
– Infants (ages 6 & below) and seniors (ages 65 & over) upon presenting a proof of personal identification.
– Visitors wearing hanbok
– State or national guests and their entourages
Facilities for the Handicapped
Wheelchair rental, wheelchair ramps (Jeongjeon Hall, Education & Promotion Hall, Yeongnyeongjeon Hall), restrooms, elevators
Interpretation Services Offered
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-Sep)
Chinese – 11:00, 13:00, 15:00
– Reservation required via official website, except for Saturdays; up to 300 people per session
– Korean nationals may join a foreign language guided tour when accompanying international visitors.
-Guided tour in Japanese 16:40 session is only offered from March to September