In 1592, the structures were burnt by the Hideyoshi invasion, but were rebuilt in 1608, and expanded three more times in 1667,
1726, and 1836. And you thought your family tree went back far... Today, the Main Hall honours 49 different people with spirit
tablets, while the Hall of Everlasting Peace holds 34 more.
A nice walking trail can be found just inside the perimeter of the stone wall, which leads around the shrine and connects with
Changgyeonggung, a palace just across the street. If you’ve paid your 1,000 won entrance fee for Jongmyo, then you can also get
into Changgyonggung Palace for free if you keep going through to the opposite side of the park.
Overall, Jongmyo is worth the visit, easy to get to, and worth an afternoon trip. Tapgol Park is close by and similar, but smaller
and with less to see. Jongmyo is tranquil, serene, and part of history. Try exploring it on the first Sunday of May to see the food
and drink ceremony first-hand.
Directions: Take line 1 of the Seoul subway to Jongno 3-ga, then take exit 11 to street level. Walk about 200
meters, and look left for Jongmyo Citizen's Park. Walk through the park to get to the shrine, buy a ticket (3,000 won for adults, 1,500
won for kids), and head inside. Jongmyo opens at 9am and closes between 4:30 and 6pm depending on the day and season, but is closed every