Visiting the Ancient Silla Tombs in Gyeongju

Today we visited the last of the 5 areas that comprise Gyeongju’s Historic Area. This area is the least re-rebuilt and visitors are required to use their imagination to see it as it was during the Emperor Silla’s rule.

gyeongju silla tombs

Visiting the Ancient Silla Tombs in Gyeongju

Today, we concluded our exploration of Gyeongju’s Historic Area by visiting the fifth and final section. Unlike the others, this area retains much of its original character, having undergone minimal reconstruction. As visitors, we were challenged to engage our imaginations, envisioning the landscape as it appeared during the reign of Emperor Silla. It’s a remarkable experience, breathing life into the ancient remnants and offering a glimpse into the rich history of this storied region.

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20150831_124018-1024x768 Visiting the Ancient Silla Tombs in Gyeongju

Visiting the Ancient Silla Tombs in Gyeongju

Day trips from Camp Walker

We visited the site of the Royal Palace where there’s little more than a placard and Cheomseongdae, Asia’s oldest remaining observatory. It sits alone where its job is to stand guard over the lotus fields full of vegetables, a hanging squash garden, and fields of wildflowers.

20150831_120713-1024x576 Visiting the Ancient Silla Tombs in Gyeongju
20150831_124607-1024x576 Visiting the Ancient Silla Tombs in Gyeongju

What do the Tombs Look Like?

You can’t miss the mounds of manicured grass all over the city. They form the backdrop to bicycle rental shops and rice cake vendors. The mountains echo their shapes, forming the backdrop to the city and beyond. However, they aren’t ski slopes. In fact, they are actually the burial tombs. Kings, Queens, and high ranking officials from the Silla Dynasty entombed for posterity. They are eternally encased in a heavy landscape of earth, grass, and tree roots. An occasional nest of bamboo grows out from its sides. Therefore making an interesting statement where the new and fast-growing bamboo sprouts from the ancient tombs of the dead.

What to Expect

Soft music plays from the speakers mounted above your head. An occasional sign points the way to Cheonmachong’s Tomb. Here, visitors can view some of the gold accessories, pottery, and armor that experts recovered from the tomb. Otherwise, like many of the sublime historical remnants of Korean history, there’s not much else to see but, well more tombs but I enjoyed the step back in time. However, it’s a pleasant stroll or you can opt for the bus tour that departs from in front of the UNESCO World Heritage rock. The entrance fee is ₩2000.

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