, Sat, Apr 17, 2021, 11:15 KST (UTC+9), Seoul, Korea

imagine your korea

Regional Guide

Oegyujanggak

Oegyujanggak, the Place that Housed Uigwe (the Royal Protocols of the Joseon Dynasty), the Most Beautiful Books in the World

Oegyujanggak depicted in Ganghwabugungjeondo (drawing of royal palace on Ganghwado Island) (1888), from Oegyujanggak (Royal Library) 【 Oegyujanggak depicted in Ganghwabugungjeondo (drawing of royal palace on Ganghwado Island) (1888),
from Oegyujanggak (Royal Library) 】

One day in October of 1866, the French navy arrived in Joseon, led by Rear Admiral Pierre-Gustave Roze (1812-1882), the commander of the French Far Eastern Squadron. At the time, Joseon prohibited Catholicism and executed French priests and Korean Catholics during the Byeonginbakhae persecutions. A French missionary named Félix Clair Ridel (1860-1884) managed to escape the country. He fled to China and delivered the news of the massacre to France. In retaliation, French Admiral Roze led a group of 1,525 navy soldiers and seven warships. They occupied Ganghwado Island and demanded a commercial treaty and severe punishment of those who were responsible for the massacre. However, this only led to a battle between the two countries.

The French navy had modern weapons with stronger firepower than Joseon's traditional weapons, therefore Joseon was no match for its counterpart. Perhaps, France became too complacent this time, since they sent approximately 160 soldiers to Joseon and was defeated by the Joseon army led by general Yang Heon-su in the Jeongjoksanseong Battle. When they retreated, the French soldiers took 359 books from Oegyujanggak (Royal Library) as well as 19 boxes of silver and burned the remaining books in the royal library.
Meanwhile, Henry Zuber (1844-1909), a French naval officer, was part of the navy forces sent to Ganghwado Island. Zuber was also a landscape painter, so he recorded everything he saw on the island with his writing and paintings. He was astonished when he saw the books stored in Oegyujanggak (Royal Library).

Zuber amazed upon seeing the uigwe 【 Zuber amazed upon seeing the uigwe

The royal library was built in 1782 by King Jeongjo, the 22nd king of the Joseon dynasty. The library kept the uigwe (the royal protocols of the Joseon dynasty) and related articles of the royal family. Zuber was amazed by the vivid colors and detailed description of civil servants, flags and carriers on the uigwe. He thought they looked very life like. What’s more, the uigwe for the kings were even more elegant. Seeing all these books, Zuber became both amazed and zealous. Onboard the ship headed back to France, Zuber finished a painting titled “A Nobleman Writing in a Small Room in Joseon.” He wrote the following at the bottom of the drawing: “I was quite amazed to see that in Joseon, every household had books, and nearly everybody can read, no matter how poor they are.” It was the paintings and books of Joseon that greatly moved Zuber.

More Info
  • Address: Goryeo Palace Site 394, Ganghwa-daero Ganghwa-eup, Ganghwa-gun, Incheon
  • Phone: 032-930-7078
  • Directions: Located within the Goryeo Palace Site near Yongheunggun Park
  • Tip: Need to purchase admission ticket to the Goryeo Palace Site.
  • Travel Writer Recommended Restaurant: Wangjajeong restaurant (032-933-7807) sells tasty acorn jelly and rice in cold broth as well as pork rib soup seasoned with salted shrimp. The green tea latte at Buksan Iyagi (032-932-5180) is not to be missed either.
  • Nearby Tourist Sites: Yongheunggung House, Goryeo Place Site, Ganghwa Tourism Platform, Simdojikmul chimney
  • Oegyujanggak (Royal Library) located within the Goryeo Palace Site【 Oegyujanggak (Royal Library) located within the Goryeo Palace Site 】
  • Ground ramming in front of the fortressUigwe, which had been kept at the
    French National Library and returned to
    Korea in 145 years
    (on a renewable loan basis) 】
  • A view of the land on the northern side from the Bukjangdae Command Post【 Part of Jeongsunwanghu Garyedogam Uigwe,
    records of the royal
    marriage of Queen Jeongsun
    and King Yeongjo 】
  • A Nobleman Writing in a Small Room in Joseon” painted by Zuber【 "A Nobleman Writing in a Small Room in
    Joseon” painted by Zuber 】
  • Acorn jelly and rice in cold broth at Wangjajeong restaurant【 Acorn jelly and rice in cold broth 
    at Wangjajeong restaurant 】
PERFECT FOR YOU! 20 view
Seodong Park (서동공원)

Attractions>Destinations

Seodong Park (서동공원)

read more

Gyeongbokgung Palace (경복궁)

Attractions>Destinations

Gyeongbokgung Palace (경복궁)

read more

Jeju Island Special Tourist Zone (제주도 관광특구)

Attractions>Destinations

Jeju Island Special Tourist Zone (제주도 관광특구)

read more

Mongchontoseong Fortress (서울 몽촌토성)

Attractions>Destinations

Mongchontoseong Fortress (서울 몽촌토성)

read more

Bucket List: Best Springtime Destinations in Korea

Attractions>Travel Highlights

Bucket List: Best Springtime Destinations in Korea

read more

Lotte World Tower & Mall (롯데월드타워&롯데월드몰)

Attractions>Destinations

Lotte World Tower & Mall (롯데월드타워&롯데월드몰)

read more

Gyeongbokgung Palace (경복궁)

Attractions>Destinations

Gyeongbokgung Palace (경복궁)

read more

Beginners’ Guide to: Jeju Island

Attractions>Travel Highlights

Beginners’ Guide to: Jeju Island

read more

Bucket List: Best Springtime Destinations in Korea

Attractions>Travel Highlights

Bucket List: Best Springtime Destinations in Korea

read more

Dongdaemun Design Plaza (동대문디자인플라자 (DDP))

Attractions>Destinations

Dongdaemun Design Plaza (동대문디자인플라자 (DDP))

read more

Seodong Park (서동공원)

Attractions>Destinations

Seodong Park (서동공원)

read more

Gyeongbokgung Palace (경복궁)

Attractions>Destinations

Gyeongbokgung Palace (경복궁)

read more

Jeju Island Special Tourist Zone (제주도 관광특구)

Attractions>Destinations

Jeju Island Special Tourist Zone (제주도 관광특구)

read more

Mongchontoseong Fortress (서울 몽촌토성)

Attractions>Destinations

Mongchontoseong Fortress (서울 몽촌토성)

read more

Bucket List: Best Springtime Destinations in Korea

Attractions>Travel Highlights

Bucket List: Best Springtime Destinations in Korea

read more

Namsan Seoul Tower (남산서울타워)

Attractions>Destinations

Namsan Seoul Tower (남산서울타워)

read more

Samcheong Park (삼청공원)

Attractions>Destinations

Samcheong Park (삼청공원)

read more

Hwaseong Haenggung Palace (화성행궁)

Attractions>Destinations

Hwaseong Haenggung Palace (화성행궁)

read more

Namhae Geumsan Boriam Hermitage (금산 보리암(남해))

Attractions>Destinations

Namhae Geumsan Boriam Hermitage (금산 보리암(남해))

read more

Songpa Naru Park (Seokchonhosu Lake) (송파나루공원 (석촌호수))

Attractions>Destinations

Songpa Naru Park (Seokchonhosu Lake) (송파나루공원 (석촌호수))

read more

Make an inquiry

1330 Travel Hotline Live Chat

Open KTO Live Chat(Download not required)

Open messenger app(Messenger app must be installed)
top