Jongmyo Shrine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Seoul

If you love going to all the historical places in the world, you should not miss out Jongmyo Shrine. After all, it is a UNESCO Heritage Site. One thing that you need to take note before you are visiting Jongmyo Shrine. is that you can only visit the shrine with a guided tour. Meaning to say, you have to check the guided tour timing before coming here to avoid disappointment. You can check the timing here

Jongmyo Shrine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Seoul

We left our hotel, Prince Hotel Myeongdong, a bit late and hence, missed out the timing for English guided tour and the next one was available one hour later. Unwilling to wait under the hot sun for another hour, we decided to join the Chinese guided tour, despite Noona's zero ability to understand simple Chinese, let alone the more complicated one. Anyway, Noona's friend can understand Chinese at a higher comprehension level than hers, so yeah, at least the tour guide will not be so offended. XD

Once you have entered Jongmyo Shrine., you will see that there is an elevated path in the middle of the road. Don't walk on that path! The path is especially built to bring dead people for funeral. It's not used for the same purpose in the modern days but still no one would be willing to walk on the path which is associated with death. 

The funeral path at Jongmyo Shrine Seoul

As the weather was pretty hot that day, everyone feels relieved when the tour guide brought us to an exhibition hall because it is equipped with an air-conditioner. Inside the exhibition hall, visitors will be shown a short documentary about ritual ceremony called Jongmyo Jaerye which is performed in Jongmyo Shrine.. The replica of the altar and the incense burner are also installed next to the exhibition hall for easier illustration purpose. 

Altar and incense burder for ritual at Jongmyo Shrine Seoul

The next two smaller rooms beside the exhibition hall shows the ceremonial robe which was worn by the Crown Prince and the King. The Crown Prince wore the red robe. 

Korean Crown Prince Ceremonial Robe at Jongmyo Shrine Seoul

While the King wore the black robe. 

Korean King Ceremonial Robe at Jongmyo Shrine

The ceremony here is known to be the oldest complete ceremony in the world and it was carried out in obedience to the king's order. During the Joseon Dynasty, the ceremony was held when the season changes and the twelfth month of the lunar year. However it was stopped when the Japanese colonial invaded Korea. The ceremony was also designated as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site for its well-preserved ancient customs. Currently, the ceremony is actually re-enacted on the first Sunday of May. If you visit Jongmyo Shrine. in summer, you can see and feel the harmony between the ceremonial site and the blue sky. A lot of hotels in Seoul gives out great discount too in the summer. In addition, nowadays a lot of airline companies give flights deal too like Qatar Airlines and Etihad Airways

Jongmyo Shrine Ceremonial Site at Seoul

The area shaded under the roof is actually the place where the cremation ashes of deceased kings and queens are kept. Each shelf is numbered according and visitors can read the name of each kings and queens on the information tablet. 

Place to keep deceased king and queen ashes at Jongmyo Shrine

This is how it looks like from closer look. Surprisingly, the shelf is kept by each big wooden door. Another keeping site has been built at the other side because this one is too full. It's not a wonder since Joseon dynasty lasts for pretty long. 

Jongmyo Shrine at Seoul Korea

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