World Heritages in Korea

When you hear world cultural heritage, what first comes to your mind? 
The Great Wall of China?
Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy? 
Pyramids in Egypt? 

Have you ever heard of this country? 
A small country, ranked 108 in country size 
However, this country is ranked 21 out of 151 countries in the number of UNESCO World Heritage registrations. This country has 10 UNESCO World Heritage properties. 

This country is a peninsula that developed its own unique culture through its 5000 year history. Home to a lot of world cultural heritage Republic of Korea. Only 1% of international travelers visit Korea. However, we believe we can make a change in their mind.  If we introduce the real Korea to foreigners, they will soon come to Korea. This is a story about the cultural heritage in Korea. 

Korea, Kingdom of Dolmens
Designated as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage in 2000
This world cultural heritage offers insights into prehistoric culture and mentality. 

A variety of dolmens are concentrated in the Gochang, Hwasun and Ganghwa sites 
They are great places for education about the dolmen construction process.  
Korea is regarded as a country of dolmens. Around 70% of extant dolmens are concentrated in Korea. 

Seokguram Grotto, the Perfect Combination of Religion, Science and Art
Designated as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage in 1995
The Pinnacle of Silla’s Buddhist Arts  
There is no comparison to this masterpiece in the East. 
“The niches were created like weaving silk with stones.”Soft and graceful Buddha was made of tough granite. 
Exquisite statue of the Buddha, evoking surprise and wonder 
Reflection of the Silla people’s strong faith in Buddhism 
Seokguram Grotto is the masterpiece of the Silla Dynasty 

Bulguksa Temple, the Result of Silla’s Construction Techniques and Superb Culture
Designated as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage in 1995

There is no other temple in the East that reveals better techniques in carving stones and interlocking wood than this one. 
- Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms - 

The rich history of Korea’s Buddhism is reflected  throughout the Bukguksa Temple. 
The Bulguksa Temple is a magnificent yet delicate.
There are two pagodas that represent the Bulguksa Temple.
Perfect Proportion and Balance Simple and Dignified Grace Seokgatap Pagoda  
Delicacy and Elaboration Exquisite Piece of Art Dabotap Pagoda 
The Bulguksa Temple represents a unique architectural style that is hard to find anywhere else in the world.  

Janggyeong Panjeon, the Repository of the Printing Culture
Designated as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage in 1995
The Tripitaka Koreana is the world’s most complete Buddhist scriptures, 
and it was registered on the UNESCO Memory of the World list in 2007
Janggyeong Panjeon represents Korea’s level of conservation science that has preserved the Tripitaka Koreana intact for nearly 1000 years.  

Proper air circulation, 
perfect moisture-proofing 
and scientific display of woodblocks  

It proves the Korean ancestors’ wisdom, which is hard to reach even with modern science. 
Janggyeong Panjeon is the highlight of Korea’s scientific architecture. 

Changdeokgung Palace, the Blending of the King, the People and Nature
Designated as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage in 1997
Borrowing from Nature 
A technique that uses natural landscape as a part of architecture
Korea’s traditional architecture avoided unnecessary alteration of nature. 
Mountains were delicately used for landscaping. 

The palace was built close to the residence of the common people.
It was to facilitate communication between the king and the people. 
The Changdeokgung Palace represents Korea’s traditional philosophy, which values the harmony of nature and the people.

Hwaseong Fortress, the Epitome of East Asian Fortresses
Designated as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage in 1997

“The Hwaseong Fortress is an outstanding example of early modern military architecture, 
incorporating the most highly developed features of that science from both east and west” 
– UNESCO World Heritage Committee-

Hwaseong Fortress was constructed  by connecting flatland and mountain ridges,  which differs from fortresses in China and Japan.  It combines military and commercial functions. The design of the structure is scientific, rational and practical. It is the epitome of military architecture in the Far East. 
– UNESCO World Heritage Committee-

Hwaseong Fortress was the result of combining people-oriented leadership with scientific techniques. 
Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty, the Legacy of 500 Years of Dynasty
Designated as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage in 2009
500 Years of Joseon Dynasty History 
Royal Tombs of the History 

The royal tombs reflect the essence of Korean ancestors’ worldview, including Confucianism, geometry and other traditional ideas.  The Joseon royal tombs were created in perfect harmony  with their natural surroundings. Changes in political climate during Joseon were fully reflected in the composition of space and structures. Comprehensive preservation and maintenance have kept these royal tombs authentic up to today. 

The Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty passes on 500 years of rich royal history.  
Jongmyo Shrine, Living Architecture for the Dead
Designated as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage in 1995
Jongmyo is a place that houses the spirit tablets of the kings, who ruled Joseon for 500 years. 
It is a symbolic place to honor the spirits of Joseon’s deceased kings.
Jongmyo Shrine is the oldest surviving Confucian royal ancestral shrine.

Its main hall has 3 compartments on its side and 25 compartments on its front.
It is one of the longest wooden structures in the world.  
Jongmyo suggests an appropriate style for religious architecture. 

Jongmyo is the Parthenon of the East. 
Gyeongju Historic Areas, the Museum City
Designated as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage in 2000
Silla, the kingdom of 1000 years, unified three kingdoms and their cultures 
The entire city of Gyeongju is registered as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage with 5 main areas. 
Gyeongju was named as one of the 10 most important historic sites by UNESCO in 1979.

Gyeongju was introduced in UNESCO’s world heritage series. 
Silla Gold Crown The most celebrated relic from the Silla Dynasty 
1000 Years of History, Advanced Science and Brilliant Culture  
All these came together to turn Gyeongju itself into a museum. 
Hahoe and Yangdong Village, the Live World Cultural Heritage

Designated as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage in 2010
In 1999, Queen Elizabeth of England praised the Hahoe Village as “the most Korean place in Korea”.
The noble culture and scholar culture of Joseon still survive in this village. 

Hahoe is not artificially created. People live in traditional houses  and maintain a real village community. 
After many generations, Korean traditions still remain among the people.  The Hahoe and Yangdong Villages are world cultural heritage in a living form.  Korea is a tiny country that occupies 0.12% of the world.   However, Korea is home to this great world cultural heritage. 

A world cultural tour in Korea will inspire you.  
Voluntary Network of Korea VANK is here to guide you. Now, it is up to you. Come to Korea. Be Inspired. 
Koreans are waiting to show their treasures to the world. 
Soon, many foreigners will come to Korea to see the cultural heritage of Korea. 
We are ready to share our stories about our cultural heritage. 

Be our Next Guest!

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