Let’s Visit Gongju National Museum
By : Riri Kusumarani / 20124309
Global IT Technology Program , Spring 2013
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?
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.
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.
Gongju National Museum (공주 국립 박물관)
Tue-Fri: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm,
Sat, Sun, Holiday: 9:00 am -
Monday: Closed (except
Sat (April through
October): 9:00 am - 9:00
※ 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:
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).
The Association of Gongju Historical Artifacts officially establishes Gongju
1940 The Association of Gongju Historical Artifacts manages the construction of
Sunhwadang, which is used for the exhibition hall of the newly opened
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.
The National Museum of Korea in Gongju re-opens in a new building.
The museum is re-organized, and the name is changed to Gongju National
May 14, 2004 The museum re-opens after moving into its current building, the Ungjin
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.
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
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
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
Compared to King’s
crown only have
one item. Both
were made of pure
gold and designed
inspired by lotus
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
bracelets owned by
hairpin was used as
ornaments and also to
keep their hair neat.
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
without jade at the
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-
shaped like a spoon
was actually used to
be attached in a
piece of clothes
such as linen. This is
symbol of Baekje
Gilt-Bronzed Shoes of
King Muryeong’s has 10
spikes and very big in
Shoes design for
both King and
Queen is the same.
Only, in queen’s
shoes, number of
spike is 9 instead of
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
These two items
from Queen’s coffin
which is known to
be head rest and
foot rest. Although
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
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
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
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
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
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.