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The Royal Museum
A Place to Learn About Life
          in the Chosun Dynasty at a Glance

Origins of the Relics Gallery Within the Palace

After the Three Kingdoms period, the Goryeo Dynasty emerged from AD 918, a time when the country was known for overseas trading, and the name ‘Korea’ is derived from this. Goryeo was often invaded by other countries, while establishing its trading history, especially Mongolia and ‘Chi-tan.’ In the social confusion and national crisis, which ensued in the final days of Goryeo, the gentry and military explored the ways and means to establish a new state.

Military forces were strengthened and new leaders drove out the old aristocratic powers of Goryeo, enforcing a land reform program in order to bolster their economic base. Yi Song-gye, one of the King's former generals was placed on the throne to establish a new state in 1392. The new regime staked its future on the ideals and practices of Neo-Confucianism, which combined the sage's original ethical and political ideas with a quasi-religious practice of ancestor worship and the idea of the eldest male as spiritual head of the family.

A great amount of relics dating back from the Chosun Dynasty were found within the Changdeok and Jongmyo palaces amongst others and the Royal Museum was opened to house and exhibit these cultural inheritances to the public.

Information on the Royal Museum

Opened in December 1992, the museum exhibits sculptures, fabrics, clothes and accessories used at the time by the royal household. In the first gallery scientific tools and instruments created to observe the stars are on display, while gallery two is dedicated to Korean scripts that were used to learn the Korean language during the Chosun Dynasty, and other educational materials. Gallery three houses the Gungjung Orye (king's seals), Daeryebok and Garyebok, all items relating to the king.

In gallery four is a re-creation of the room where the king would receive government officials and deliver speeches to them, while items from the palace kitchen together with the king's former dining table and furniture are displayed in gallery five. A total of ten galleries constitute the Royal Museum, which houses artifacts and craftwork used in the palace, the king's seal and other relics from the time, and there is no better place to get a taste of what life was like under the Chosun Dynasty than here.

Homepage: www.design.cau.ac.kr/museum/7/index.html

Opening hours: 9:00am-6:00pm (Closed on Mondays)

Admission fee: W700

Tel: 752-0735

How to get there: Take subway line one or two and get off at City Hall Station. Use exit number one and the museum is ten minutes away by foot.

(Sourced from WHAT'S ON SEOUL)

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