Jongmyeo UNESCO Heritage
Jongmyo is a royal shrine dedicated to the performance of ancestral rites for the deceased kings and queens of the Joseon Dynasty. Being the place where the royal ancestral tablets are enshrined, Jongmyo’s atmosphere is solemn and sacred rather than splendid like the royal palaces. The simple and elegant buildings of this shrine have faithfully kept their original forms since the 16th century. Jongmyo is made up of Jeongjeon (the main hall), Yeongnyeongjeon (the hall of eternal peace), and auxiliary buildings such as Jeonsacheong, Eosuksil, Hyangdaecheong and Sindang. Jeongjeon, the main hall of Jongmyo, is a place steeped in royal history and is highly esteemed for its outstanding architecture. It is said to be the world’s longest single wooden structure and its length measures 109 meters. The main hall is an outstanding example of traditional Korean architecture. Jongmyo was designated as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site together with Jongmyo Jerye and Jongmyo Jeryeak. Jongmyo Jerye is the royal ancestral ritual and has been performed for 600 years. The court music performed during the ritual is the Jongmyo Jeryeak.