UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Korea
Here is a list of UNESCO World Heritage sites in Korea and the year they were inscribed to the UNESCO list.
Changdeokgung Palace Complex (1997)
The 15th century Changdeokgung (Changdeok Palace) is the best preserved of Seoul's palaces. The Biwon (Secret Garden) at the back of the palace is a particular highlight. The palace buildings blend pleasingly with the surrounding landscape. Access is by guided tour only with English tours at 11.30am, 1.30pm and 3.30pm. Closed Mondays. Access: Anguk Subway Station.
Gochang, Hwasun and Ganghwa Dolmen Sites (2000)
The prehistoric Megalithic burial grounds at Gochang, Hwasun, and Ganghwa contain hundreds of dolmens - stone tomb markers dating from the 1st millennium BCE. The sometimes huge capstones top the graves of the ruling elite buried below. This is the largest concentration of dolmen in the world.
Gyeongju Historic Areas (2000)
The Gyeongju Historic Areas include temple and palace ruins, royal tumuli, pagodas and Buddhist art and statuary, dating from the Silla Period (57 BCE-935 CE) of Korean history.
Haeinsa Temple Janggyeong Panjeon, the Depositories for the Tripitaka Koreana Woodblocks (1995)
The Temple of Haeinsa, on Mount Kaya, houses the Tripitaka Koreana, the world's most complete collection of Buddhist scriptures in Chinese script. The Tripitaka (lit. 'three baskets') was engraved on over 80,000 woodblocks between 1237 and 1248. Each block is made of birch wood and was treated in seawater to prevent decay. The temple in South Gyeongsang province is accessible from both nearby Busan and Ulsan.
Hwaseong Fortress (1997)
Massive eighteenth century military fortifications complete with towers and gates designed to protect the tomb of the Choson emperor Chongjo's father. The walls and bastions of Hwaseong Fortress combine both traditional Eastern and Western styles. The hwaseong Fortress is located in Suwon, a city about one hour south of the South Korean capital, Seoul.
Jongmyo Shrine (1995)
Jongmyo Shrine, in Seoul, is the oldest Confucian royal shrines to have been preserved. The building dates from 1601 after the previous building (constructed in 1394) was destroyed by an invading Japanese army. The Jongmyo shrine houses sacred tablets bearing the teachings of members of the former Choson ruling dynasty. Ritual ceremonies of music, song and dance still take place at the shrine to this day.
Seokguram Grotto and Bulguksa Temple (1995)
The Seokguram Grotto, part of the Bulguksa temple complex on Mt. Tohamsan, near Gyeongju, was built in the 8th century and featues a huge, white statue of the seated Buddha looking out to the sea. The statue is surrounded by realistic relief sculptures of Bodhisattvas, arhats and other Buddhist deities.
Jeju Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes (2007)
Korea's highest peak Mount Hallasan with its volcanic crater lake is part of the Hallasan National Park which is also known for its spectacular waterfalls and rock formations. The area also abounds with natural lava tubes originating from the Geomunoreum volcano, with colored carbonate floors and roofs and magnificent stalagmites and stalactites. The lava tubes are connected with an ancient legend of a snake. Also included is Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak - a 90m-tall tuff cone which rises out of the sea and was formed from a volcanic eruption about 100,000 years ago.