The tomb of General Kim Yusin (595-673) is Historic Site No. 21. It is located in a scenic area thick with pine trees, on the eastern hill of Songhwasan Mountain.Known as the Hero of the Silla Kingdom, General Kim Yusin was the great grandson of King Guhae, the last king of the Geumgwan Gaya Dynasty, and the son of Seo Hyeon, a great general of the Silla Kingdom. Yusin joined the Hwarang (aristocratic youth military corps) at 15 and began dreaming of ways to unify the peninsula’s three kingdoms.Kim Yusin gained his political foothold by establishing a strong relationship with nobleman Kim Chunchu and made a name for himself through his valor on the battlefield.When Kim Chunchu eventually succeeded to the throne as the 29th king of the Silla Kingdom (changing his name to King Muyeol), Kim Yusin rose through the ranks and was eventually promoted to the extraordinarily high-ranking position of Sangdaedeung in the year 660 (7th year of King Muyeol’s reign). Kim Yusin then went on to defeat the Baekje Kingdom in cooperation with the Tang Dynasty, also later conquering the Goguryeo Kingdom in the year 668.The Tang Dynasty turned against Silla after the collapse of Goguryeo, but was defeated by Kim Yusin’s army in cooperation with the armies of Goguryeo and Baekje. With the fall of the Tang, Kim Yusin finally realized his dream of unifying the three kingdoms and was appointed the highest government post in Silla in honor of his heroic achievement.The tomb of General Kim Yusin is a large tomb measuring roughly 30m in diameter. The relief carvings of 12 Oriental zodiac gods (half man, half animal) stand guard around the tomb, brandishing weapons. The elaborately decorated tomb is second in grandeur only to those of royalty, further underscoring Yusin’s major contribution in unifying the three kingdoms.The path to this tomb is also a sight not to be missed. The street leading up to the tomb is called Heungmu-ro, and has been selected as one of the 100 Most Beautiful Streets in Korea. The street is full of cherry blossoms in spring and is famous for being a great place to take a walk or go for a drive.
Andong Soju Museum was established in 1995 to promote and hand down the history and cultural characteristics of Andong Soju. The museum mainly displays the origin of Andong soju, the making process, Korean folk alcoholic drinks, the lineage of alcohol, and bottles and cups throughout history. The museum also offers a hands-on program and sampling area. The Traditional Food Museum is connected to Andong Soju Museum, so visitors can learn about traditional food and Andong’s folk dish, as well as traditional patterns of rites of passage.
Housed in an old hanok (traditional Korean house) Sukyoung Sikdang (숙영식당) is a restaurant famous for its glutinous barley rice meal. Various kinds of grains are mixed with glutinous barley rice to make a sticky and savory rice dish complete with seven different kinds of wild greens. For an extra boost of flavor, try mixing in the various herbs provided with lots of dressing and sesame oil. Even though the meal comes with bean paste-jjigae, if you’re still hungry take a trip to the traditional bakery located nearby (‘Hwangnam Bread’) for an extra special treat.
Cheomseongdae is the oldest existing astronomical observatory in Asia.
Constructed during the reign of Queen Seon-deok (632-647), it was used for observing the stars in order to forecast the weather. This stone structure is a beautiful combination of straight lines and curves, and was designated as National Treasure No.31 on December 20th, 1962.
Cheomseongdae was built in a cylinder shape with stones 30cm in diameter. 362 stones were piled up to make 27 levels. Roughly 4.16m up from the bottom there is a 1㎡ square entrance and a space to hang a ladder under it.
The inside is filled with soil up to the 12th level, and the 19th, 20th, 25th, and 26th levels all have long rocks hanging on two areas, shaped as the Chinese letter '井' (jeong).
It stands 9.17m high and the base stone on each side measures 5.35m.
The Vernal Equinox, Autumnal Equinox, Winter Solstice, Summer Solstice and the 24 solar terms (also known as the astronomical solar year) were determined by the observation of stars. The pavilion stone is believed to have been used as a standard of deciding directions, north, south, east and west. The 362 stones used to build Cheomseongdae represented the 362 days in a lunar year.
The Andong region has many renowned historical and cultural sites, such as Hahoe Village. However, the major cultural attraction of the region is the Andong Mask Dance Festival.Visitors to the festival can enjoy the many performances of Korea’s traditional mask dances. These dances are an important part of Korea’s heritage, in particular the byeolsingut talnori dance, which has been designated an Important Intangible Cultural Asset of Korea. International mask dance troupes have also been invited to the festival, so visitors are exposed to folk culture from around the world.As well as performances, events in the festival program also include mask dance competitions and mask dance lessons, which are available for international visitors.
Pohang Jukdo Market first started as a small gathering of local vendors who sold their wares at the large fields of reeds in Pohang Inner Harbor. Now, over five decades later, the market has become one of the largest traditional markets in the Gyeongsangbuk-do area (on the east coast).
Along with the Pohang Jukdo Market, visitors will also find the Jukdo Fish Market, only 500m away from Ogeori (the heart of Pohang). The largest open-run market in the east, the seafood wholesale market is made up of 200 raw fish stores, offering the area’s best catches. Nearby restaurants sell quality sashimi dishes at incredibly low prices and in the wintertime visitors can get a taste of Gwamegi, a local specialty of the Pohang area.
This is the Royal Tomb of King Muyeol (무열왕릉) the 29th of the Silla Kingdom (654-661). He allied his forces with those of the Chinese Tang Dynasty and unified the Korean peninsula. This large tomb is 114 meters in circumference and 8.7 meters in x_height.
Natural stones were piled on the bottom of the tomb, and they remain buried underground. The monument stone is gone, leaving only the turtle-shaped base stone and the dragon-carved head stone. Carved in relief is the inscription “Taejongmuyeolwangneungbi” (태종무열왕릉비), which indicates the owner of this monument.
Hahoe Village is home to descendants of the Ryu clan of Pungsan and is well-known for its traditional houses. Birthplace of renowned scholars of the Joseon Period such as Gyeomam Ryu Un-ryong and Seoae Ryu Seong-ryong, the village became even more famous after Queen Elizabeth of England visited on April 21, 1999.Hahoe Village (translating to “Village Enveloped by Water”) gets its name from Nakdong River, which flows around the town’s perimeter. The village is located at the foothills of Hwasan Mountain, an offshoot of Taebaek Mountain that rises up to the east. The center of the village is populated by large tile-roofed houses belonging to the Ryu clan, adding their own unique charm to the surrounding thatched roofs.Hahoe Village boasts exquisite scenic sights: the elegant Nakdong River flowing around the village, the magnificent Buyongdae Cliff, endlessly unfolding sandy beaches, and lush, ancient pine trees. Visitors can take the boat to Buyongdae Cliff for a panoramic view of the village.In addition to breathtaking scenery, Hahoe Village offers delectable local delicacies. Try the Andong Soju (distilled alcoholic beverage), Heotjesabap (a type of Bibimbap eaten by the nobles), Andong Gangodeungeo (salted mackerel), and Andong Guksu (a kind of noodle dish).Nearby attractions include Bongjeongsa Temple (built during the Silla Period), Gosan Seowon (Confucian Academy), Gwiraejeong, Gyemyeongsan Mountain Recreational Forest, Hakgasan Mountain Recreational Forest, and Waryongsan Mountain.Hahoe Village, along with Yangdong Village in Gyeongju, was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List under the category of “Historic Villages in Korea” on July 31, 2010.Andong Mask Dance Festival is held every autumn.
Geumgwanchong, located in Noseo-dong, Gyeongju, is a tomb from the Silla Kingdom (B.C. 57∼A.D. 935). It is one of the three tombs that belong to the Noseo-dong Tombs in downtown Gyeongju.Geumgwanchong Tomb is regarded as the tomb of a king before or after the reign of King Ji-Jeung during the early 6th century (500~514). It is not known exactly to whom this tomb belongs.It was found in September 1921, when the fief was chopped while a civilian was leveling the ground to widen his building land. The first relic found in this tomb was a gold crown, geumgwan, and so the tomb took its name. Ornaments such as gold belts, earings, bracelets, saddlers and crockery of the Three Kingdoms Era (when Goguryeo, Baekje and Silla were separated, later unified by Silla in 676 AD) were dug up from the tomb. There were numerous relics, with beaded relics alone numbering over 30,000.The original structure of Geumgwanchong was 13m high with a 50m diameter. The relics from this tomb were moved and are now preserved at the Gyeongju National Museum.