Daereung Won Tumuli Park - Designated Historic Site 175

Daereung Won Tumuli Park, another designated historic site in South Korea tourism is located in the middle of downtown Gyeongju.

This park has more than 20 large and small tombs from the Shilla period and has been designated Historic Site 175. The tombs are mostly earthen and mound-shaped and covered with grass looking like small hills.

The tombs are assumed to be those of kings and court officials.

There are not only stone-piled wood-lined chamber tombs, but also jar-coffin tombs, stone-lined chamber tombs and tunnel-type tombs revealing the various burial methods during the Shilla Period.

The dimensions of the tombs bary with heights ranging from less than 1 meter to 23 meters. Some double gourd-shaped tombs are for the joint burial of a husband and wife.

The sites which attract the most attention are Cheonmachong Tomb, King Michu Tomb and Hwangnamdaechong Tomb. The interior of Cheonmachong Tomb or the Heavenly Horse Tomb has been made into a public museum.

The museum shows the burial mound was excavated and displays the imitations of the uncovered artifacts placed in the positions in which they were found. King Michu Tomb, situated inside the entrance of Daereung Won Tumuli Park , is the tomb of the 13th King of Silla, a seventh-generation descendant of Kim Alchi, the father of the Gyeongju Kim clan. During his 22-year reign, King Michu led Shilla to power and prosperity and defended it from invasions by neighboring Paekche.

After the death of King Michu, the country came under attack. Legends have it that soldiers with bamboo leaves in their ears appeared out of his tomb to fight off the invaders. The tomb is thus called Chukhyonnung or Bamboo Soldier Tomb.

Hwangnamdaechong Tomb is the biggest tomb, it is double-gourd-shaped and its excavation displayed that its northern tomb was a woman's grave and its southern tomb was a man's. After the tomb was uncovered, it was restored to its original shape.

During the excavations of Cheonmachong and Hwangnamdaechong, numerous artifacts including a gold crown, gold girdles, gold and silver ornaments, horse fittings and weapons were uncovered.

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