The Seonjeongneung is the burial grounds of two Joseon Dynasty kings and one Joseon queen. The westernmost tomb belongs to King Seongjong (r. 1469–1494), the ninth king of the Joseon dynasty.[1] His first wife, Queen Han, died at age 18 and is buried near Munsan, north of Seoul. His second wife, Queen Jeonghyeon (貞顯王后, 1462–1530), from the Yun family, is buried here because she gave birth to the king's second son (the future King Jungjong) in 1506.[2] Queen Jeonghyeon outlived her husband by 35 years and was buried in a splendid tomb to the east of her husband. Her grave has a stone fence encircling the mound, whereas her husband's tomb, on the left, has a retaining wall as well. Statues of civilian and military officials and their horses stand at attention in front of the graves. South of the tombs is a single T-shaped shrine of the type commonly found at Joseon-era royal tombs. There are also several ancillary buildings for storing material used in sacrifices.

Seolleung and Jeongneung
Jeongneung, view from the Hongsalmun- the tomb of King Jungjong, at the Seonjeonneung site.jpg
Jeongneung, the tomb of King Jungjong, at the Seonjeongneung site
LocationSeoul, South Korea
Coordinates37°30′32″N 127°02′57″E / 37.50889°N 127.04917°E / 37.50889; 127.04917Coordinates: 37°30′32″N 127°02′57″E / 37.50889°N 127.04917°E / 37.50889; 127.04917
Governing bodyCultural Heritage Administration of Korea
Criteriaiii, iv, vi
Designated2009 (33rd session)
Reference no.1319
State Party South Korea
RegionAsia and Australasia
Seonjeongneung is located in South Korea
Seolleung and Jeongneung in Seoul, South Korea
Revised RomanizationSeonjeongneung

Queen Jeonghyeon had a deep interest in Buddhism and founded the nearby temple Bongeunsa.

The other tomb on the site is Jeongneung tomb, located at the easternmost part of the site. This is the burial ground of King Jungjong, the 11th king of Joseon (r. 1506–1544). He was a son of Seongjong, and was originally buried at Goyang near Munsan, north of Seoul. However, his third queen thought it would be better to have him re-interred closer to his father. She expressed a wish to be buried alongside him, but this wish was never carried out, and his tomb stands alone.

Japanese invasions of Korea and SeonjeongneungEdit

As Seolleung and Jeongneung were excavated during the Japanese invasions of Korea during the Joseon Dynasty, the bodies of both Seongneung and Jeongneung were not found in the three tombs. Jeongneung is more unusual as only the ashes were found in the tombs of King Seongjong and Queen Junghyeon, but the bodies of the deceased in Jungjong were found. To determine whether or not this corpse belonged to King Jungjong, they conducted a survey from the elder to the heads of the court. Few people remembered his appearance because he had died a long time ago, and it was difficult to confirm the fact that the rest of them were aged too. The records and the dead body were very different. And it was in the hot summer when Jungjong died, but the fact that the body was still intact. Some questions have been raised as to whether the Japanese army had kept the tomb for the sake of the deceased. People could not easily come to a conclusion because it might have been Jungjong's body. Eventually, Seonjo ordered the body to be buried somewhere else.[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Seonjeongneung". Cultural Heritage Administration. Retrieved 2008-04-21. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "Cultural Heritage Administration". Retrieved 2010-11-06. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ 선조실록 40권, 26년(1593 계사 / 명 만력(萬曆) 21년)7월 7일(기미) 3번째기사

External linksEdit