So as a gift to the faithful readers of my blog (and to anyone else who happens to have a connection to the internet), I present you with a guided tour (in English of course) of the National Museum of Korea.
Let us adjourn!
Welcome to the National Museum of Korea. My name is Justin ( 저스틴 ) and I'll be your tour guide today. Please follow me into the lobby and we can begin the tour.
The first floor of the museum meanders its way through the history of the Korean peninsula. You will be seeing everything from the first artifacts to many culturally important items that still show a lasting impact on modern-day Korea. So let's move into the first room and take a look at the time-line of human existence in Korea.
As you can see, human presence on the peninsula dates back to as early as 700,000 BC. The first kingdom arose in the year 2333 BC and the country has changed hands numerous times since then. The Korean people have experienced a violent past, but have succeeded in defending themselves against invading forces from Japan, China, and Mongolia. Now we can just briskly walk through through the first few rooms until we get to Goguryeo room. (Honestly, I just didn't take any pictures of the stuff in Paleolithic Room, Neolithic Room, Bronze Age & Iron Age Room, or the Proto Three Kingdoms Room. For the most part it was pretty basic stuff that you could see in any museum that covers prehistoric man.)
Welcome to the Goguryeo Room. Goguryeo was the oldest and largest Kingdom of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. It is believed that the Goguryeo arose around the end of the Gojoseon Kingdom in the 2nd century BC and lasted until 668 AD when it was conquered by an alliance of Silla and Tang forces. The capital was moved twice before finally being established at Pyongyang. At the height of its power, Goguryeo stretched from modern day Seoul into Manchuria and parts of northern China.
|A Goguryeo crown|
|Baekje bronze incense burner|
|Monkey warrior statue from the Silla Dynasty|
|Dragon head from Balhae|
|The backdrop features 5 peaks, which symbolize royal authority|
|Joseon adopted this flag, which is very similar to South Korea's flag, in 1883|
Alright. If everybody would follow me up the escelator, we can look around the Fine Arts Gallery, which will be on your left (from the main entrance).
|Huge canvas in the Buddhist Paintings Room|
Heading up to the third floor, on your left will be the Fine Arts Gallery II and on your right will be the Asian Arts Gallery, which contains pieces from outside of Korea.
|From the Indian & Southeast Asian Art Room|
|The museum with N Seoul Tower in the background|
|No, that isn't an optical illusion. The building is actually curved.|
|Upclose. The buildings in Seoul just keep getting better.|
|Another awesome building|
|One shot couldn't do it justice|
|Okay. This is starting to get out of control.|