Skip Navigation

Royal Tombs

Uireung Royal Tomb, Seoul (懿陵)

Uireung is the tomb of King Gyeongjong(景宗, 1688~1724, r. 1720~1724), the 20th ruler of Joseon Dynasty, and his Secong consort Queen Seonui(宣懿王后, 1705~1730).

Uireung Royal tomb
Uireung Royal tomb
Uireung Royal tomb
Yeonghwiwon Royal Tomb, Seoul (永徽園)

This is the tomb of the 1st rank royal concubine Sunheon (純獻皇貴妃, 1854-1911), from the Eom family. She was a royal concubine of the 1st Emperor Gojong of the Korean Empire and the birth mother of King Yeongchin. She had a life with many vicissitudes. She entered the Gyeongbokgung Palace at the age of five and became a lady of the royal guard of Queen Myeongseong. At the age of 32, she had a chance to serve Emperor Gojong at night. This enraged Empress Myeongseong and she was evicted from the palace. In 1895, when the Eulmisabyeon (the incident in which Empress Myeongsung was murdered by the Japanese) broke out, she returned to the palace five days after the incident. When she returned to the palace, Emperor Gojong and the Crown Prince were suffering from the Japanese oppression. Under these circumstances, she successfully helped them escape from the palace to the Russian legation. This is the Agwanpacheon (俄館播遷), the cause of the war between Russia and Japan. As a result of this incident, Emperor Gojong was dethroned by the Japanese force and Emperor Sunjong came to the throne. The 1st rank royal concubine, Sunheon, gave birth to the future King Yeongchin (1897-1970) when she was over 40. King Yeongchin was taken as hostage to Japan under the pretence of studying abroad in 1907 and a national disgrace, the Hanilbunghap (韓日倂合, the Japanese annexation of Korea) occurred in 1910. A grief for the lost nation and a yearning heart toward her son weighed heavily on her mind. She passed away at the age of 58 in 1911, and was entombed in the Yeonghwiwon in Cheongnyangni. Her ancestral tablet was initially placed in the Deogangung Palace and was moved to the Yuksanggung (the Chilgung) in 1929.

Sunginwon Royal Tomb, Seoul (崇仁園)

This is the tomb of Yi Jin (1921-1922), a son of the last Crown Prince, King Yeongchin of the Korean Empire. King Yeongchin became the Crown Prince as his elder brother, Emperor Sunjong, ascended the throne. But the Crown Prince was taken hostage and sent to Japan at the age of 11. He had an original fiance but was forced to break off the engagement by imperialist Japan to marry Nashimoto Masako (Yi Bangja) of the Japanese royal family for political reasons in 1920. Despite Japan’s efforts to cut off Joseon’s imperial family line, King Yeongchin had a son named Jin. But his son died at the very young age of nine months. Deeply saddened, Emperor Sunjong held a funeral suitable for a prince and named the tomb the Sunginwon (崇仁園).