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Underwater Tomb

Underwater Tomb of King MunmuKing Munmu (661-681 A.D.) unified the three kingdoms and became the 30th ruler of the Silla Kingdom. After his death, according to his specific instructions, people buried him in the East Sea, so that he would become a dragon and protect the Silla coastline. So many years later, we can see the beautiful islet above the sea. The notable tomb is about 200m in circumference. It is divided by a cross-shaped waterway, forming a pool at the center. It is said that King Munmu’s cremated body are buried under this rock.

Ancient tombs must be a very special feature in Gyeongju. In Tumuli Park (Daereungwon Tomb Complex), there are more than 20 large and small tombs of Shilla monarchs and family members, such Tomb of King Wonseong, Tomb of General Kim Yusin, Tomb of King Michu, Heavenly Horse Tomb (Cheonmachong), etc. Among them, King Munmu’s tomb is the only one that was built under the sea. So it is called Underwater Tomb of King Munmu.

Cheonmachong TombIn some other districts of Korea, there are different royal tombs too. As the ancient capital of Baekje Dynasty, Gongju has Royal Tomb of King Muryeong and the Songsan-ri Tombs (contain the graves of the kings from the period when Gongju was Baekje’s capital). Other tombs of the royal members of Baekje Dynasty are Neungsan-ri Ancient Tombs in Buyeo. There are more than 40 tombs of Kings, Queens and monarchs from Joseon Dynasty. Scattered around locations in Korea, these royal tombs have been well preserved and was officially added to UNESCO World Heritage Site. In Seoul, there are Seonjeongneung (Seolleung Royal Tomb and Jeongneung Royal Tomb), Donggureung (total of 17 kings and queens), Heolleung and Illeung, etc. While in Gyeongju, the ancient capital of Silla Kingdom, there are many royal tombs such as Oreung Tombs, Royal Tomb of King Naemul, Cheonmachong (Heavenly Horse Tomb), Underwater Tomb of King Munmu, Daereungwon Tomb Complex (23 large tombs), etc. Other royal tombs from Joseon Dynasty are Yungneung Royal Tomb and Nyeongneung Royal Tomb in Yeoju, Donggureung Royal Tomb in Guri, Hongneung and Yureung in Namyangju, Jangneung Royal Tomb in Paju, etc.

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