The Royal Tomb of Queen Sindeok also known as Jeongneung Tomb. Jeongneung Tomb and 40 other Royal Tombs were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List on June 30th, 2009. Queen Sindeok (? ~1396) from the Kang family was the second wife of King Taejon, founder of the Joseon Dynasty. Queen Sindeoks family was one of the powerful clans in the late Goryeo period and her family played a pivotal role in King Taejo entering the political arena and expanding his political base to found the Joseon Dynasty. They had 3 children. Prince Bangbeon, Prince Bangseok and Princess Gyeongsun.
King Taejo dearly loved his wife. She was not only his devoted wife. She was also wise and sensible and acted as the King’s political partner. Her political power was so strong that her son, Bang-Seok was named crown prince over Taejo’s six other sons born to his first wife. She succeded in having her second son, Bangseok tittled as Crown Prince.
In 1396 Queen Sindeok died from an illness. King Taejo was distraught and wept loudly. When she was ill he gathered 50 monks to pray for her recovery but unfortunately it did no good. He built Heungcheonse Temple to pray for her soul.
During the following years after Queen Sindeoks death, there was a succession dispute between Queen Sindeok’s sons and the son’s of King Taejo’s first wife. In the power struggle, Prince Bangbeon and Prince Bangseok, Queen Sindeok’s sons were murdered by their political rival Yi Bang-won. Yi Bang-won was Taejo’s son from his first wife and later became King Taejong.
King Taejong who was never shown any favours by Queen Sindeok removed her name from the royal family register and replaced it with his mother’s. In 1408 King Taejo died and King Taejong used parts of Queen Sindeok’s tomb to repair Gwangtong Bridge. Finally King Taejong moved the tomb of Queen Sindeok which was located in Jeong-dong, Jung-gu to the countryside (current location) in 1409. The tomb was not maintained and lost most of it’s original appearance. It stayed like this as a lost, nameless tomb until 1669 when it was repaired.
Even with all of this tragic history behind the tomb of Queen Sindeok, it is still a lovely area to visit. Many families go at the weekend to relax and walk through the trails located around the tomb. The tomb is located on a hill and unfortunately it is off limits to the public. The pictures below were taken using the zoom on my camera. At the foot of the hill is a T-shaped shrine and other buildings used for the ancestral ceremonies. These are open to the public.
Opening Hours / Admission:
March to October: 6am ~ 6:30pm
November to February: 6:30am ~ 4:30pm
Tickets stop going on sale 1 hour before closing time.
1,000 won for adults (19 to 64)
500 won for youth (7 to 18)
How to get to Jeongneung Royal Tomb:
Take line 4 to Sungshin Women’s University and leave exit 6. Take bus number 1014 (green), 1212 (green) or 162 (blue) to Jeongneung stop (formally Arirang Market). After you get off the bus cross the street and you will find signs to the tomb. I have included the tomb location and the bus drop off point on the map below.
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