The National Treasures of South Korea are a numbered set of treasures, artifacts, sites, and buildings which are recognized by South Korea as having exceptional artistic, cultural heritage and historical value. Currently there are 315 National treasures. The Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea monitor, decide and protect the National Treasures. The treasures are numbered according to the order in which they were designated not according to their individual value.
Jeongjeon (Main Hall) was designated as National Treasure No. 227 on January the 8th, 1985. It is here that the spirit tablets of the former kings and queens are enshrined. The Main Hall has 19 Chambers to hold the spirits. In 1395 the Main Hall had seven chambers. As the Jeseon Dynasty continued to have power of Korea for 600 years there were chambers added over the years to hold more spirits. The hall was expanded to 11 chambers in 1546. In 1592 the Main Hall was destroyed in the Japanese Invasion and was rebuilt in 1608. In 1726 the hall was again expanded to 15 chambers. Finally, in 1836 the Main Hall expanded to 19 chambers.
It was at Jeongjeon (Main Hall) where a ritual ceremony was held 5 times a year. The ceremony proceeds through 3 distinct phases
1. Welcoming of the Spirits
2. Entertaining them
3. Ushering them out
Since 1971 it has been held on the first Sunday in May.
Jeongjeon (Main Hall) is the longest traditional building in Korea.
Jeongjeon is located inside Jongmyo Shrine.
Opening Hours / Admission:
Closed on Tuesdays.
March – September: 09:00 – 18:00
October – February: 09:00 – 17:30
On weekdays and Sundays you can only enter the shrine with a guided tour.
Korean – 9 times a day / 09:20 – 16:20 (every hour), (17:00 March to September only)
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 March to September only)
Chinese – 11:00, 15:00
On Saturdays you are free to wander around Jongmyo by yourself.
Adults (19 and over): 1,000 won
Children: 500 won
How to get to Jongmyo Shrine:
Take line 1, 3 or 5 to Jongno 3 (sam)-ga station and leave exit 7 or 11 and follow the map below.
View larger map
Photo at the top of the page used with permission from “Cultural Heritage Administration.”