Cultural Assets

Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty

 

 

  1. Korean

조선 왕릉

조선 왕조는 1392년에 고려 왕조가 끝난 이후 시작되어 5백 년 이상의 지속된 역사를 지녔다. 조선 왕조 시대에 있었던 총 27대 왕과 왕비 및 추촌된 왕과 왕비의 무덤을 일컬어 조선 왕릉이라 한다. ‘조선왕릉’은 우리나라의 유교적인 문화 전통이 확고하게 드러나는 문화유산이다. 특히 조선시대 때 강조되었던 ‘조상숭배’라는 유교적인 개념을 바탕으로 나라의 최고의 권위자로써 왕의 무덤을 신성화하는 전통이 형성되었다. 죽은 왕의 무덤을 웅장하게 만들고 참배함으로써 죽은 왕에 대한 숭배 뿐 만아니라, 현재 살아있는 왕의 권위까지도 더불어 강화시킬 수 있는 수단이었던 것이다.

조선왕릉은 전체 42기 가운데 북한에 있는 2기를 제외하고 우리나라에 있는 40기 모두가 세계문화유산 등재되었다. (붙임 조선왕릉 분포 현황 참조) 조선왕릉 42기를 살펴보면, 폐위된 두 명의 왕의 무덤은 포함되지 않았다. (제10대 연산군, 제15대 광해군)

조선 왕족의 무덤은 능, 원, 묘로 구분할 수 있다. 먼저 능(陵)은 추존왕, 추존왕비를 포함한 왕과 왕비의 무덤이다. 원(園)은 왕세자와 왕세자비, 그리고 왕의 사친(私親: 종실로서 임금의 자리에 오른 임금의 생가 어버이)의 무덤을 일컫는 말이다. 묘(墓)는 왕의 아들, 딸인 대군과 공주, 왕의 서자, 서녀인 군과 옹주, 왕의 첩인 후궁, 귀인 등의 무덤을 말한다.

또한 ‘조선왕릉’은 이러한 유교적 질서에 맞춰서 능역을 조성하였다. (능침/성역-제향/성역과 속세가 만나는 공간-진입/속세) 왕릉의 형태는 총 여섯 가지로 나뉘는데 구분은 봉분의 형태에 따른다. (단릉, 쌍릉, 삼연릉, 동원이강릉, 동원상하봉릉, 합장릉)

조선왕릉이 퍼져있는 지역을 살펴보면 크게 서울 시내와 서울 동쪽, 서쪽으로 나눌 수 있다. 왜냐하면 왕실의 능역을 그 당시 도성인 한양을 중심으로 반경 4킬로미터 밖에서 40킬로미터 안에 두도록 하는 법이 존재했기 때문이다. 또한 이 지역들을 풍수적 길지로써, 현 시대에도 서울 도심 속에서 녹지를 만끽할 수 있는 소중한 공간이 되었다.

2009년 6월 30일, 스페인 세비야에서 열린 제33차 세계유산위원회에서 '조선왕릉' 40기전체는 유네스코 세계유산(문화유산)으로 등재되었다. 조선왕릉이 풍수지리사상을 바탕으로 조영되었으며, 엄격한 질서에 따라 내부 공간을 구성하면서도 아름다운 주변 산세와 어우러져 주목할 만한 신성한 공간을 창출하였고, 봉분과 조각, 건축물들이 전체적으로 조화를 이룬 탁월한 사례로 동아시아 묘제의 중요한 발전단계를 보여준다고 평가했다. 또 조선시대부터 오늘날까지 600년 이상 제례의식을 거행하면서 살아있는 전통을 간직하고 있는 독특한 공간이라는 점도 높이 평가했다.

조선왕릉의 등재로 한국의 세계유산은 문화유산 8점 자연유산 1점 등 총 9점으로 늘어났다.

세계유산적 가치

‘조선왕릉’은 조선왕조의 독특한 장묘 문화를 잘 나타내주고 있다. 이 당시 조선왕조의 세계관, 종교관 및 자연관을 바탕으로 타 유교 문화권 왕릉들과는 다른 형태를 띠고 있는 것이 특징이다. 또한 ‘조선왕릉’은 5백년 이상 존속한 조선왕조를 대표하는 건축양식이다. 당대의 시대적 사상과 정치사 뿐 만아니라, 조선시대의 예술적 독창성이 뚜렷이 나타나있다. 끝으로 조선 왕릉에서 세기를 걸쳐서 지속되어 온 제례의식이다. 1910년 조선왕조가 막을 내린 이후로부터 전주 이씨 종약원으로 인해 현재까지 왕릉 제례가 지속되어오고 있다. 이 외에 국가 제례가 정기적으로 이어지고, 종묘 또한 설립되었다. 그러므로 ‘조선왕릉‘은 조선시대에 강조되었던 조상숭배의 전통문화가 이어져 올 수 있는 아주 중요한 역할을 하고 있다.

등록기준 :세계문화유산기준 (III), (lV), (VI)

  • (III) 독특하거나 지극히 희귀하거나 혹은 아주 오래된 유산
  • (IV) 가장 특징적인 사례의 건축양식으로서 중요한 문화적, 사회적, 예술적, 과학적, 기술적 혹은 산업의 발전을 대표하는 양식
  • (VI) 역사적 중요성이나 함축성이 현저한 사상이나 신념, 사진이나 인물과 가장 중요한 연관이 있는 유산

 

 

  1. English

Spots of outstanding natural beauty were chosen for the tombs which typically have their back protected by a hill as they face south toward water and, ideally, layers of mountain ridges in the distance. Alongside the burial area, the royal tombs feature a ceremonial area and an entrance. In addition to the burial mounds, associated buildings that are an integral part of the tombs include a T-shaped wooden shrine, a shed for stele, a royal kitchen and a guards’ house, a red-spiked gate and the tomb keeper’s house. The grounds are adorned on the outside with a range of stone objects including figures of people and animals. The Joseon Tombs completes the 5,000 year history of royal tombs architecture in the Korean peninsula.

Outstanding Universal Value

The natural surroundings of the Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty, shaped by the principles of pungsu, create a delicate setting for the living tradition of ancestral worship and its associated rites. The royal tombs, with their hierarchical ordering of areas from the profane to the sacred, and their distinctive structures and objects, are an ensemble that resonates with the historic past of the Joseon Dynasty.

Criterion (iii): Within the context of Confucian cultures, the integrated approach of the Royal Tombs of Joseon to nature and the universe has resulted in a distinctive and significant funeral tradition. Through the application of pungsu principles and the retention of the natural landscape, a memorable type of sacred place has been created for the practice of ancestral rituals.

Criterion (iv): The Royal Tombs of Joseon are an outstanding example of a type of architectural ensemble and landscape that illustrates a significant stage in the development of burial mounds within the context of Korean and East Asian tombs. The royal tombs, in their response to settings and in their unique (and regularized) configuration of buildings, structures and related elements, manifest and reinforce the centuries old tradition and living practice of ancestral worship through a prescribed series of rituals.

Criterion (vi): The Royal Tombs of Joseon are directly associated with a living tradition of ancestral worship through the performance of prescribed rites. During the Joseon period, state ancestral rites were held regularly, and except for periods of political turmoil in the last century, they have been conducted on an annual basis by the Royal Family Organization and the worshipping society for each royal tomb.

Integrity and Authenticity

As a serial nomination, the sites convey a complete understanding of the setting, layout and composition of the Joseon royal tombs. As individual sites, there are minor exceptions represented by part of sites included in the buffer zone. Urban development has affected the sight lines of some of the sites (Seolleung, Heolleung and Uireung), but it appears that urban construction is visible only near the top of certain tombs. Strict legislation now ensures that development within the buffer zones is controlled. Over time, elements of the sites have been repaired, restored and reconstructed. The burial areas have seen the least intervention, while the ceremonial and entrance areas have seen the most, and largely because the use of wood as a building material. The original function has been continued at all sites and a sacred atmosphere has been largely maintained, especially at the less urban sites. Regarding form and design, only a few entrances have been changed; overall, the Royal Tombs of Joseon have marked authenticity.

Management and protection requirements

Extensive legal protection, including traditional protection, exists, and an integrated management system is able to ensure consistency from property to property, including implementing and maintaining efficient measures in conservation initiatives and on-going property maintenance.

Historical Description

The place of tombs, and especially royal tombs, is central to understanding Korean culture. As expressed in the nomination dossier, royal tombs are the final resting places for the royal family, and, as such, the tombs not only indicate the status of the family but become carefully constructed complexes for ancestral worship.

The dolmen, the oldest known tomb in the Korean Peninsula, was built from the Stone Age to the Bronze Age. During the Three Kingdoms Period, construction principles were defined for tombs and it was the Silla Kingdom, in particular, that developed the tomb system unique to Korea: a wide hole in the ground, lined with wood, filled with stones and covered by earth (the mound). After the Silla conquered the other kingdoms (with the help of the Chinese), what is called the Unified Silla Period emerged and it was within this period that Korean royal tombs developed unique characteristics, such as stone tigers in four directions, stone tables in front of the burial mound and stone objects with unique features. Royal tombs were built not only on flat land, but on mountains as well.

During the Goryeo Kingdom (918-1392), royal tombs continued to be built using Unified Silla principles, but they were built between mountain ridges with west to east flowing streams. They included new features as well, such as the watch stone pillar, stone lantern, T-shaped shrine and stele shed. Additionally, stone tigers, lions and sheep surrounded the burial mound.

Construction during the Joseon Dynasty has a degree of consistency, although there are some variations reflecting the wishes of the king or his descendants. Compared to royal tombs built during the Goryeo Dynasty, royal tombs constructed during the Joseon Dynasty were built on hills and divided into three areas, with the upper/burial area having upper, middle and lower platforms.

There are five development phases of the Royal Joseon Tombs:

-In Phase 1, Continuation of Goryeo Kingdom principles, changes are seen in the design of stone lanterns and the use of octagonal stone pillars.

- In Phase 2, Emergence of Joseon principles, the Joseon Dynasty adopted its own funeral system based on The Five Rites of the State (state protocol and etiquette).

-In Phase 3, Emphasis on geomancy principles, some simplification of tombs occurs, i.e. balustrades replace screens and stone chambers are replaced by those with plaster walls.

- In Phase 4, Emergence of realism, the practice of having stone figures of scholars occupy a platform higher than the one for stone figures of soldiers is discontinued and stone figures are reduced to life-size.

- In Phase 5, Transformation to reflect the change in royal title from king to emperor, there is an increase in the number of stone figures and they are placed in new positions at the front of the platforms used for ancestral rites.

In addition to the five development stages, stone objects, in particular, underwent slight changes in size and shape, although the object types and their layout remained unchanged. Four phases of stone objects have been identified.

-First Phase: Early 15th century to middle 15th century. Examples: Geonwolleung of King Taejo (1408) and Changneung of King Yejong (1470). Characteristics: Royal tombs built on hills; stone horses.

- Second Phase: Late 15th century to late 16th century. Examples: Seolleung of King Seongjong (1495) and Gangneung of King Myeongjong (1567). Characteristic: Stone objects increase in size.

-Third Phase: Early 17th century to early 18th century. Examples: Mongneung of King Seonjo (1630) and Uireung of King Gyeongjong (1724). Characteristic: Stone objects become smaller in later years.

- Fourth Phase: Middle 18th century to early 20th century. Examples: Wolleung of King Yeongjo (1776) and Yureung of Emperor Sunjong (1926). Characteristic: Two platforms replace the usual three.