Gongju National Museum


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This is an assignment written for Korean Culture and History at Global ITTP. It's describing our trip to Gongju National Museum and Buyeo National Museum.

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Gongju National Museum

  1. 1. Let’s Visit Gongju National Museum By : Riri Kusumarani / 20124309 Global IT Technology Program , Spring 2013 About Gongju Gongju is located in coordinates 36°27′N 127°7′E, South Chuncheong Province in South Korea. It was formerly named Ungjin. Since 475 BC to 538 BC, Gongju was the capital of Baekje Dynasty. According to Wikipedia, total area of Gongju is 130,957 Km2 with 139.2/km2 density. How to Get There? By bus Intercity buses service Gongju from both Daejeon's Seobu and Dongbu intercity bus terminals every 30 to 50 minutes with all also stopping by the Yuseong intercity terminal en route. Tickets from Yuseong cost 2900 won and take about 20 minutes. Further services run every 45 minutes direct from Seoul for 8600 won, as well as from Osan, Suwon, Cheongju and Buyeo. At the other end, Gongju's "Old" Intercity Bus Terminal is a mere 200 m south of the main entrance to Gongsan Fortress. Note that in open defiance of the label, the "old" bus terminal is still very much in use and far more central than the primary one, which is on the north bank of the Geumgang River, opposite Gongsan Fortress. By car The city is 125 km from Seoul and lies on the Cheonan-Nonsan Highway (route #25); switch from the Gyeongbu Highway (route #1) at Cheonan. Gongju is also accessible via route #36 from Cheongju and route #32 from Daejeon.
  2. 2. Gongju National Museum (공주 국립 박물관) General Information Tue-Fri: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm, Sat, Sun, Holiday: 9:00 am - 7:00 pm, Monday: Closed (except holidays), Sat (April through October): 9:00 am - 9:00 pm ※ The museum will be closed on January 1. ※ Admission is Free Gongju National Museum is located nearby King Muryeong’s Tomb and Gongsan Fortress. From Daejeon to Gongju National Museum, we can use Daejeon Dongbu Terminal, Seobu terminal or Yuseong Terminal. From Yuseong Terminal, it will takes around 30mins. English Tour-guide is available if we reserve in advance. In Total, we need to spend around 2hrs to completely see all exhibitions. Below is the history of Gongju National Museum since 1934 until 2004: Date/Year Description 1934 Gongju Historic Site Preservation Society is established. The group begins to collect and preserve artifacts related to Baekje. May 5, 1939 After construction of the museum is completed,about 500 people participate in the inauguration ceremony at Ssangsusanseong (Gongsanseong).
  3. 3. September 1, 1939 The Association of Gongju Historical Artifacts officially establishes Gongju Museum. 1940 The Association of Gongju Historical Artifacts manages the construction of Sunhwadang, which is used for the exhibition hall of the newly opened Gongju Museum. December 10, 1945 The name of the museum is changed to Gongju National Museum. April 1, 1946 The museum officially becomes a branch of the National Museum of Korea. October 12, 1973 The National Museum of Korea in Gongju re-opens in a new building. August 20, 1975 The museum is re-organized, and the name is changed to Gongju National Museum. May 14, 2004 The museum re-opens after moving into its current building, the Ungjin Complex What’s Inside When we first entered the museum, we will see information and the exhibition room on the right side Inside the museum are artifacts that were dug from Tomb of King Muryeong. In one section of the museum, there’s a replica of King Muryeong’s Coffin with actual size. This section also shows lots of treasure from that tomb.
  4. 4. The first floor is divided into several sections. First section consists of Replica of King Muryeong’s Coffin and the room also decorated looks like inside the Tomb. Beside the coffins, there’s remaining woods taken from Tomb that was the original material of the coffin. Although it’s already more than 7century, the wood still in a relatively good shape and not decayed. Interesting thing about this coffin, that the tree that was being used to make the coffin is originated from Japan. This is no wonder if we see that during King Muryeong era, Baekje dynasty is closely related with Japan. Nearby coffins, museums puts lots of jewelry such as King’s head crown, Shoes, Earrings, Necklace and lots of things. The interesting thing is the size of King’s shoes is indeed very big. Tour guide explain that was due to he had to wear so many layers (probably like socks or other materials) .King’s shoes also has spikes that is 10 in number. It was expected that during that period, people had to survive during hard period. And Spikes is representing the King is stepping the ground steadily and hardly. The remaining Head crown was also made by pure gold. Others jewelry was either made by silver or gold. In Museum, there’s earings of King Muryeong’s which has Jade at the end of the earrings. The other sections of 1st floor showed Queen’s jewelry with actual remaining jewelry taken from Tomb of King Muryeong’s. Several differences such as number of spikes that Queen’s shoes are 9 instead of 10, and her earrings didn’t have jade at the end. If King Muryeong’s has swords, Queen only have small dagger that was made by bronze. This was suspected to be used for self-defense. Still at the same floor, this museum provides video room which showed excavation process of the Tomb. At the 2nd floor, Gongju national museum exhibits pottery from paleolitics era up until unified Silla. This gallery was named ‘Ancient Culture of Chungcheongnam-do’ which consisted relics from several
  5. 5. places in South Korea such as from Dunsan-dong (Daejeon). National treasure #247 ( Gilt- bronze standing Avalokitesvara), #148 (Stone Basin from Daetongsa Temple Site) , #108(Stone Buddha Traid Stele from Unified Silla) and #979(Stone Seated Budha) can be seen here. There are many stone-made tools that is being displayed in 2nd floor. One of them is a stone made chopping tool that is believed to be used by people at that era to cut things. Beside Stone-made tools, there are also bronze-made dagger that has height of around 28cm. This Buddha shaped has height around 24.8cm and was made of gold. It is suggested that the origin was during Unified Silla period. This lotus-shaped pedestal has the height of 100cm List of Treasure in Museum Below are list of treasure inside the museum. Information is gathered from internet and directly from tour guide King’s Item Queen’s Item this item is founded from what archeology suggest King’s head. A crown made of pure gold with asymmetric design .높이:30.7cm, 너비:14.0cm Compared to King’s crown, Queen’s crown only have one item. Both were made of pure gold and designed inspired by lotus flower. 길이:22.6cm Another gold jewelry for the king : Hair pin. Long time ago, people at Baekje Dynasty was common to have long hair, even for man. This Queen’s jewelry is more varied . The picture on the left is necklace and bracelets owned by the queen.
  6. 6. hairpin was used as ornaments and also to keep their hair neat. 길이:18.4cm As previously explained, the picture on the left side is King’s earrings with Jade at the end. Other parts was made of gold. 길이:8.3cm Queen’s earrings, is more sharply designed and without jade at the end. 길이:11.8cm The picture on the left is belt and ornaments. It’s not in actual size because some of the part already decayed and difficult to re- arrange. 길이:95.7cm This ornaments shaped like a spoon was actually used to be attached in a piece of clothes such as linen. This is also become symbol of Baekje upper classes Gilt-Bronzed Shoes of King Muryeong’s has 10 spikes and very big in size. 길이:35.0cm Shoes design for both King and Queen is the same. Only, in queen’s shoes, number of spike is 9 instead of 10. This is a foot-rest for the king where he usually put his foot when laying down. This thing was made of wood combined with bronze 길이:38.0cm These two items were evacuated from Queen’s coffin which is known to be head rest and foot rest. Although many historians believe that the head rest is impossible to use due to its design. What left over from King’s sword. The circle ornaments looks like a yin-yang concept of Taoism. When exvacated, the round- shaped ornaments was The queen is equipped by small dagger that she can kept in beside her garments. The size is no more than queen’s hand.
  7. 7. located on the left-hand side of the king. It was made with gilt-bronze. This circle thing is supposed to be a mirror, but the glass is already diminished by time. This handcrafted mirror were made of cast-copper. 길이:23.2cm,18.1cm Gongsan Fortress Gongsan Fortress (Gongsanseong, 공산성). A 1500 year old mountain-top fortress looming over the Geumgang River. You might need a decent amount of imagination to get the most out of this place, as much of the fortress is a series fenced off grassy rectangles marking the estimated site of the ancient Baekje Royal Palace and associated structures. A decent amount of information is provided around the various sites in both Korean and English.Ticket price for adults 1200 won. ITTP Fellow’s Trip Story We started our trip from Munji with 19people coming including Ganbath daughter almira. This trip was organized by ourself with help of our Korean Mentor and Ms Sora Lee (Many Thanks!). We departed to Gongju at 8.30am , it was actually 15mins late because miscommunication with the driver. Munji to Gongju Museum took around 50mins.
  8. 8. Previously, we already contacted the museum to give us English- speaking Tour guide. By the time we arrived, the tour guide already arrived. His name is Mr Hwang Dong-Hyeong. He showed us around the museum and explained everything very well. We enjoyed our time there and saw lots of treasure that was founded in King Muryeong Tombs. Everyone is Happy ^^. After that we visited Gongsan Fortress, only 5mins from Gongju National Museum. This fortress was really nice, if we go to the top, you can see a glimpse of Gongju. We even tried archery there!. Infront of Fortress, we decided to have our lunch, some of us choose to eat bibimbap, the other tried Barbeque Duck. Finished with lunch, we gathered to continue our trip to Buyeo national Museum . It only took around 40mins from Gongju to Buyeo. Sadly, in Buyeo there’s no English tour-guide, so we have to pay attention to every relics and read the English translation. The size of the museum also not as big as Gongju Museum. We decided to finish early and departed to Daejeon at 3.30pm because we are all really tired.In Conclusion, we have a really nice trip.