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Hongneung and Yureung Royal Tombs, Namyangju
Hongneung and Yureung Royal Tombs, Namyangju ADMISSION INFORMATION ON TOMB
Hongneung Royal tomb, Namyangju (洪陵)
The Hongneung (洪陵) is the royal tomb of the 1st Emperor Gojong (高宗皇帝, 1852-1919) of the Korean Empire and Empress Myeongseong (明成皇后, 1851-1895), from the Min family. Emperor Gojong was the second son of Daewongun Heungseon, Yi Haeung. When Emperor Cheoljong died without an heir, Queen Sinjeong, from the Jo family (the lawful wife of King Ikjong), designated him as king. Following this, Emperor Gojong allowed Empress Dowager from the Jo family, to rule as regent, and Daewongun Heungseon to administer overall state affairs. Emperor Gojong got married to Empress Myeongseong from the Min family (Lady Min) in 1866. The relatives of the Empress Myeongseong in different surnames took an open-door policy to foreign countries opposing Daewongun who chose a national isolation policy. As the relationship between the liberals and the conservatives deteriorated, several revolts including the Imogullan (壬午軍亂, the military uprising of 1882) and the Gapsinjeongbyeon (甲申政變, the 1884 coup) broke out. In addition, there was a revolutionary upheaval raised by the peasants who believed in the indigenous religion of Donghak (東學), not to mention the Sino-Japanese war. At this chaotic time, Japan provoked the Eulmisabyeon (乙未事變) in 1895 by attacking the royal palace and murdering the Empress Myeongseong. Emperor Gojong dethroned the Empress Myeongseong to be demoted to a commoner due to the Japanese pressure, but granted the title of Bin within one day after the dethronement. In the same year, he granted a royal message to restore the Lady Min to be a Empress and to place her tomb on the right side of the Sungneung (崇陵) with the title of the Sukreung (肅陵). However, the administrative procedure for the restoration ended five months after the outset as the Ministry led by Gim Hongjip lost its position. In 1897, Emperor Gojong proclaimed the establishment of the Daehanjeguk (大韓帝國, Great Korean Empire) and decided to name the era the Gwangmu (光武, Martial Brilliance) and became the Emperor. At that time, the Lady Min received a posthumous title of Empress Myeongseong, and her tomb was named again the Hongneung (洪陵), which completed the state funeral in two years. This is the place currently called the Hongneung in Cheongnyangni. Emperor Gojong gave up the crown in favor of his son, Emperor Sunjong in 1907, and died in 1919. The tomb of the Lady Min, located in the present Geumgok-dong of Namyangju, was also moved and buried together with his.

Yureung Royal tomb, Namyangju (裕陵)
The Yureung (裕陵) is the last tomb of the Joseon Dynasty. There were laid to rest three royal bloods together: the 2nd Emperor Sunjong (純宗皇帝, 1874-1926), his lawful wife, Empress Sunmyeonghyo (純明孝皇后, 1872-1904) and his second lawful wife, Empress Sunjeonghyo (純貞孝皇后, 1894-1966). Being the second son of Emperor Gojong and Empress Myeongseong, Emperor Sunjong ascended the imperial throne in 1907 followed by Emperor Gojong, and changed the chronological era to the Yunghui (隆熙, Abundant Prosperity). The reign of Emperor Sunjong was a period filled with sad and lamentable history. It was sad because 519 years of the Joseon Dynasty came to an end and it was lamentable because resistance to protect the national sovereignty led to much bloodshed. With the Japanese annexation of Korea in 1910 (韓日倂合), the Joseon Dynasty was ruined and colonized by Japan, and Emperor Sunjong was demoted to ‘the king of the Yi’. He died in 1926 while mollifying his grief for the ruined nation. On the day of his state funeral, June 10, an independence movement took place to stand against the Japanese imperialism. It is known as the June 10th Independence Movement. Empress Sunmyeonghyo became the Crown Princess in 1897, but deceased before Emperor Sunjong’s enthronement. She was initially entombed in the present Children’s Park in Neungdong. When Emperor Sunjong deceased, her tomb was moved and they were buried together. Empress Sunjeonghyo became the second lawful wife of Emperor Sunjong in 1906, and became the Empress when he ascended the throne. In her life, Empress Sunjeonghyo lost her country, and experienced the Japanese pillage, the restoration of independence and the Korean War. In her later years, she embraced Buddhism to mollify her grief. She deceased in 1966 at the age of 72 and was buried in the Yureung with two other royal bloods.

Location Map of Joseon Royal Tombs