The longest holiday is here and as much as I enjoy long weekend breaks in times of Miss Rona there’s not much one can do. Thankfully, you can still enjoy some me time on the weekend away from the hectic city.
I enjoyed visiting Taereung and Gangreung Royal Tombs which are the burial sites of royalty from the Joseon Dynasty.
Taereung and Gangreung Royal Tombs
Although it is still in Seoul, it’s the perfect weekend getaway to relax and learn about history at the same time.
A little bit of history
Taereung and Gangreung Royal Tombs are the burial sites of royalty from the Joseon Dynasty. Taereung is the royal tomb of Queen Munjeong; the second wife of the 11th Joseon king, Jungjong. While Gangreung is the royal tomb of the Queen Munjeong’s son and the 13th Joseon king, Myeongjong and his wife, Queen Insun.
Queen Munjeong is a highly respectable female figure in Korean history. Driven by political ambitions, she murdered her stepson to make her natal son the king, purged political adversaries, and then administered state affairs from behind the veil for eight years.
A very peaceful and pleasant site to to take a walk and get a sense of the Joseon Dynasty.
As you step inside, you pass through a little forest and soon enough you can see an imposing red gate. a color said to denote holiness with a taegeuk (yin-yang) symbol. The stone paths leading to the sacrificial building are noteworthy because there are two stone paths, one more elevated than the other.
The explanation is simple, the elevated path is for the dead queen and the lower one is for living people. As you walk around , you can see small sculptures of animals on the roof believed to exorcise evil spirits. Other sculptures of sheep, tigers, horses and military officers surround the tomb and act as guardians of the dead queen. Besides, after the TV show ‘Munjeong Waghu’ aired Taereung Royal Tomb became a popular site.
In June 2009, UNESCO designated all 40 of the royal tombs of the Joseon Dynasty World Heritage sites.
15 min walk from Hwarang station:
Gyongchun Line Forest Park
On my way back, I came across this cute old train. It operated around the 70s but is now exposed at Gyongchun line forest park.
The railway is designed to regenerate the industrial legacy and develop a cultural walk path as a green welfare space. Visitors can walk or bike along the old railway and reminisce over past memories or enjoy a romantic walk.
It was revamped as a cafe and store which makes a perfect end to your evening . You can enjoy a coffee and watch the sunset .