Jongmyo Shrine was a primary place of worship for kings throughout Joseon Dynasty. The memorial service, called Jongmyo Jaerye, is said to be the oldest complete ceremony in the world, and was carried out in obedience to the king’s order. The ceremony was designated as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site in December 9, 1995, for its well-preserved ancient customs, such as memorial services and traditional music, which is National Intangible Cultural Asset No.56.
During the Joseon Dynasty, it was held when the season changes and the twelfth month of the lunar year, but was stopped during the Japanese colonial period. Now, it is annually reenacted on the first Sunday of May. Jongmyo Jaeryeak, the musical part of the ceremony, is produced by instruments, songs, and dances that originated over 500 years ago. In May, the Korean Royal Palace Culture Festival is to be held with a variety of other cultural heritage festivals.
[Jongmyo] Historic Site No. 125 (designated on January 18, 1963)
Tour Course Information
Course 1 (for 200 people or less)
Main gate - King Gongmin Shrine - Mangmyoru Pavilion - Hyangdaecheong - Jaegung Palace - Jeongjeon Hall - Yeongnyeongjeon Hall - Akgongcheong - Main gate
Course 2 (for more than 200 people)
Main gate - Jaegung Palace - Jeongjeon Hall - Yeongnyeongjeon Hall - Akgongcheong - Hyangdaecheong - Mangmyoru Pavilion - King Gongmin Shrine - Main gate
* Visitors may enter Jongmyo Shrine only in a guided tour group at specific times on weekdays (except Tuesdays) and Sundays. On Saturdays, visitors may enter at their leisure. Please refer to Interpretation Services Offered for the group tour schedule.
* Visitors may be divided into two groups in order to avoid overcrowding.
* Up to 300 people are allowed inside Jongmyo Shrine at a time.
09:00-18:00 (February-May) (September – October) / 09:00-18:30 (June - August)
09:00-17:30 (November - January)
Last Admission: 1 hour before closing
Adults (ages 19 and over): 1,000
won / Youth (ages 7-18): 500 won
* Visitors who are sightseeing royal tombs of the Joseon Dynasty
on the last Wednesday of each month./
(Culture Day) from January 29, 2014.
* Infants (ages 6 & below) and seniors (ages 65 & over) upon presenting
a proof of personal identification.
* Visitors wearing Hanbok.
* State or National guests and their entourages.
Integrated Ticket of Palaces
- Four Palaces
((Changdeokgung (including Huwon, Secret Garden), Changgyeonggung, Deoksugung, Gyeongbokgung Palace)) and Jongmyo Shrine
- Ticket costs KRW 10,000, and must be used within one month of purchase.
- Refunds are no longer possible after one site has been visited.
* Visitors may take the combined tour of Changdeokgung and Changgyeonggung Palace.
An additional ticket must be purchased at Hamyangmun Gate.
* During this time, the passage connecting Jongmyo Shrine and Changgyeonggung Palace will be closed.
* Closed on Mondays: Changdeokgung, Deoksugung, and Changgyeonggung Palaces
* Closed on Tuesdays: Gyeongbokgung Palace, Jongmyo Shrine
Facilities for the Handicapped
Wheelchair rental, wheelchair ramps (Jeongjeon Hall, Education & Promotion Hall, Yeongnyeongjeon Hall), restrooms, elevators
Interpretation Services Offered
* Korean - 09:20-16:20 (every hour), 17:00 (Mar. to Sep. only)
* English - 10:00, 12:00, 14:00, 16:00
* Japanese - 09:00, 09:40, 10:40, 11:40, 12:40, 13:40, 14:40, 15:40, 16:40 (Mar. to Sep. only)
* Chinese - 11:00, 13:00, 15:00
* Korean nationals may join a foreign language guided tour when accompanying international visitors.
* Guided tours 17:00 (Korean) and 16:40 (Japanese) are only offered from March to September.