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Jongmyo Shrine

Jongmyo Shrine © Oskar Alexanderson
Jongmyo Shrine © Oskar Alexanderson

Jongmyo Shrine is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and celebrated as one of Korea's foremost cultural treasures. Built in 1394, it's the oldest Confucian shine in the world and often holds ceremonies, rituals, and traditional dance performances. Jongmyo is the official shrine of Korea's Joseon Dynasty, with it serving as the chief place of worship for the royalty of this line.

The shrine is made up of a number of halls as well as a small cloister, with its interior, roofs, and ceilings exquisitely painted and decorated. Jongmyo is the term used for a place where memorial services are performed and it's therefore unsurprising that the shrine is home to more than 40 memorial tablets of past kings and queens of Korea. Tourists visiting Seoul will find that Jongmyo is situated within walking distance of the Changdoekgang Palace and the two attractions can be conveniently combined while sightseeing.

Address: 157 Jong-ro, Jongno-gu

Website: english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ATR/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=264351

Transport: Take subway lines 1, 3 or 5 to Jongno-3-ga subway station.

Opening times: The Shrine's operating hours are generally 9am to 6pm but these times can change depending on the season. Check website for details.

Admission: KRW 1,000 for adults and children (7-18) KRW 500. Children 6 and under, and people over 65, are free.