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The 40 Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty
Within the forty royal tombs of the Joseon Dynasty are interred 27 kings, queens, and those monarchs that were posthumously granted the title of king or queen. The tombs date from the time of the dynasty’s foundation in 1392 until its fall in 1910. Of all the royal tombs of Korea’s past dynasties, the tombs of the Joseon Dynasty are in the best condition. In fact, rarely have royal dynastic tombs worldwide been so well preserved in their entirety.

(* Among the 27 kings, the tombs of two disposed kings, Yeonsangun and Gwanghaegun are not included in the list of the Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty. )
 
Favorable Geomantic Locations
Favorable Geomantic Locations
The sites for the royal tombs of the Joseon Dynasty were chosen based on geomantic traditions: they had to be located between 4 kilometers and 40 kilometers from the center of Hanyang, the dynastic capital. The tombs had to be facing south toward a body of water and had to be protected by a hill. They could not be located on a mountain or in a field. Each site was considered a divine space, and therefore had to be isolated from other areas that were already in use by surrounding mountains or other topographical features. As a result, the royal tombs are located in lush green spaces around the suburbs of Seoul and provide visitors with a wonderful opportunity to enjoy nature in an urban setting.
Composition of the Royal Tombs
Composition of the Royal Tombs
When the royal tombs were constructed, man-made facilities were kept to a minimum in order not to damage or interfere with the natural surroundings. The design of the tombs was carefully planned, so that various ancestral ceremonies and rituals could be performed there on a regular basis. Over time, certain traditions developed for the construction of the tombs. Near to the tombs, a small building was constructed, which was used when preparing for ceremonies and rituals. When you walk past the building, a forested area and a stone bridge over a stream comes into view. In front of the tomb, a red gate with cylindrical pillars was placed, this symbolized to visitors that they were entering a tomb site. After passing through the gate, you enter the center of the tomb site. The royal tombs were built by piling earth into a huge mound and have a number of features, such as doors, and stone guardian statues standing in front of the tombs. Throughout the Joseon Dynasty, the royal tombs maintained their basic design, but gradually adapted to the topographical conditions and circumstances of the times. The 40 royal tombs of the Joseon Dynasty were officially listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in June 2009. This was due to their unique architecture, the comprehensive preservation of all of the tombs from the 500-year dynasty, and their locations, which were decided by Confucian and geomantic traditions. Excluded from the list were the Jereung and Hureung tombs in North Korea.
< List of the Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty>
Reign King Tomb Chinese
Charac
ter
Buried Location Notes

1st

Taejo

Geonwolleung
(건원릉)

Jereung
(제릉)

Jeongneung
(정릉)
 

健元陵


齊陵


貞陵

 

Taejo


Queen Sinui


Queen Sindeok

 

Gyeonggi-do
Guri

Gaeseong (North Korea)

Seoul
Seongbuk
-gu

Dong
gureung
(동구릉)


-


-
 

2nd

Jeongjong

Hureung
(후릉)

厚陵

Jeongjong, Queen Jeongan

Gaeseong (North Korea)

-

3rd

Taejong

Heolleung
(헌릉)

獻陵

Taejong, Queen Wongyeong

Seoul Gangnam
-gu

-

4th

Sejong

Yeongneung
(영릉)

英陵

Sejong,
Queen Soheon

Gyeonggi-do Yeoju

-

5th

Munjong

Hyeolleung
(현릉)

顯陵

Munjong,
Queen Hyeondeok

Gyeonggi-do Guri

Dong
gureung

6th

Danjong

Jangneung
(장릉)

Sareung
(사릉)
 

莊陵


思陵

 

Danjong


Queen
Jeongsun
 

Gangwon-do
Yeongwol

Gyeonggi-do Namyangju

-



-

7th

Sejo

Gwangneung
(광릉)

光陵

Sejo,
Queen Jeonghui

Gyeonggi-do
Namyangju

-

Post
hum
ous
king

Deokjong

Gyeongneung
(경릉)

敬陵

Deokjong,
Queen Sohye

Gyeonggi-do
Goyang

Seoo
reung
(서오릉)

8th

Yejong

Changneung
(창릉)

Gongneung
(공릉)

 

昌陵


恭陵

 

Yejong,
Queen Ansun

Queen
Jangsun
 

Gyeonggi-do
Goyang

Gyeonggi-do Paju
 

Seoo
reung

Paju
Sam
neung
(파주삼릉)

9th

Seongjong

Seolleung
(선릉)


Sulleung
(순릉)
 

宣陵



順陵

 

Seongjong,
Queen
Jeonghyeon

Queen
Gonghye
 

Seoul,
Gangnam-gu

Gyeonggi-do
Paju
 


-


Paju
Sam
neung

11th

Jungjong

Jeongneung
(정릉)

Olleung
(온릉)

Huireung
(희릉)

Taereung
(태릉)
 

靖陵


溫陵


禧陵


泰陵
 

Jungjong

Queen
Dangyeong

Queen
Janggyeong

Queen
Munjeong
 

Seoul,
Gangnam-gu

Gyeonggi-do
Yangju

Gyeonggi-do
Goyang

Seoul,
Nowon-gu 

-


-


Seosam
neung
(서삼릉)
-
 

12th

Injong

Hyoreung
(효릉)

孝陵

Injong,
Queen
Inseong

Gyeonggi-do
Goyang

Seosam
neung

13th

Myeonjong

Gangneung
(강릉)

康陵

Myeongjong,
Queen
Insun

Seoul,
Nowon-gu

-

14th

Seonjo

Mongneung
(목릉)

穆陵

Seonjo,
Queen Uiin,
Queen
Inmok

Gyeonggi-do Guri

Dong
gure
ung

Post
hum
ous
king

Wonjong

Jangneung
(장릉)

章陵

Wonjong, Queen
Inheon

Gyeonggi-do
Gimpo

-

16th

Injo

Jangneung
(장릉)

Hwireung
(휘릉)
 

長陵


徽陵
 

Injo,
Queen Illyeol

Queen Jangnyeol
 

Gyeonggi-do
Paju

Gyeonggi-do
Guri

-


Dong
gureung

17th

Hyojong

Nyeongneung
(녕릉)

寧陵

Hyojong,
Queen
Inseon

Gyeonggi-do
Yeoju

-

18th

Hyeonjong

Sungneung
(숭릉)

崇陵

Hyeonjong, Queen Myeongseong

Gyeonggi-do
Guri

Dong
gureung

19th

Sukjong

Myeong
neung
(명릉)

Ingneung
(익릉)

明陵


翼陵

Sukjong, Queen Inhyeon, Queen Inwon

Queen Ingyeong

Gyeonggi-do
Goyang

Seoo
reung


Seoo
reung

20th

Gyeong
jong

Uireung
(의릉)

Hyereung
(혜릉)

 

懿陵


惠陵


 

Gyeongjong,
Queen Seonui

Queen
Danui

 

Seoul,
Seongbuk-
gu

Gyeonggi-do
Guri
 

-


Dong
gureung

21st

Yeongjo

Wolleung
(원릉)


Hongneung
(홍릉)
 

元陵



弘陵
 

Yeongjo,
Queen
Jeongsun

Queen
Jeongseong
 

Gyeonggi-do Guri


Gyeonggi-do Goyang
 

Dong
gureung


Seoo
reung
 

Post
hum
ous
king

Jinjong

Yeongneung
(영릉)

永陵

Jinjong,
Queen
Hyosun

Gyeonggi
-do
Paju

Paju
Sam
neung

Post
hum
ous
king

Jangjo

Yungneung
(융릉)

隆陵

Jangjo,
Queen
Heongyeong

Gyeonggi-do
Hwaseong

 -

22nd

Jeongjo

Geolleung
(건릉)

健陵

Jeongjo,
Queen Hyoui

Gyeonggi-do Hwaseong

 -

23rd

Sunjo

Illeung
(인릉)

仁陵

Sunjo,
Queen Sunwon

Seoul Seocho-gu

 -

Post
hum
ous
king

Ikjong (Munjo)

Sureung
(수릉)

綏陵

Ikjong,
Queen Sinjeong

Gyeonggi-do Guri

Dong
gureung

24th

Heonjong

Gyeongneung
(경릉)

景陵

Heonjong,
Queen
Hyohyeon,
Queen
Hyojeong

Gyeonggi-do Guri

Dong
gureung

25th

Cheoljong

Yereung
(예릉)

睿陵

Cheoljong,
Queen
Cheorin

Gyeonggi-do
Goyang

Seo
sam
neung

26th

Gojong

Hongneung
(홍릉)

洪陵

Gojong,
Empress
Myeongseong

Gyeonggi-do Namyangju

 -

27th

Sunjong

Yureung
(유릉)

裕陵

Sunjong,
Empress
Sunmyeonghyo, Empress Sunjeonghyo

Gyeonggi-do Namyangju

 -


<Where to Find Royal Tombs of Joseon Dynasty>

☞ For more details, please click on the tombs on the map above.
Korea Travel Phone: +82-2-1330
☞ Website of Royal Tombs of Joseon Dynasty:
http://royaltombs.cha.go.kr (Korean, English)
Read Our Column: A Trip to Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty
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