What to See in Kaesong (North Korea)
According to Allpubliclibraries.com, Kaesong is located 125 km south of Pyongyang near the border with South Korea.
Kaesong was the capital of the first unified state of Goryeo from the 10th to the 14th centuries. At that time, the city was surrounded by three rows of fortifications, parts of which have survived to this day. In Kaesong, you can see the Namdae-mun gate, which was left from the inner fortification wall that surrounded the royal palace. The gate was badly damaged during the Patriotic War of Liberation and was restored in 1954.
The Koryo Palace itself has not survived to this day, only the ruins of the foundations of some buildings remain, including the ruins of one of the world’s first star observatories. The ruins are a stone base 2.8 m high, on which an observational astronomical instrument was installed in antiquity. Kaesong is home to one of the world’s oldest universities,the 11th century Sungkyun-wang. The university opened the Koryo History Museum, which tells about the first united state of the Korean Peninsula. The museum also displays collections of local handicrafts and has a souvenir shop. It is worth noting that since its formation, Kaesong became a center of crafts and an important trading center. Here the basics of porcelain production were born, writing objects and medicines from ginseng were produced. To this day, Kaesong ginseng is considered one of the best in the world and is exported to other countries.
In addition, the Seonjuk Bridge is interesting in Kaesong. It was built in 1216 and miraculously preserved to this day. Not far from the bridge, in a special pavilion, which stands on 2 stone turtles, some chronicles of the Li dynasty are kept. On the outskirts of the city is the tomb of King Wang Gong, which is part of the extensive tomb of the royal families of Goryeo. A stone staircase leads to the tomb, along which there is a chapel and steles with a carved life of the king. The approach to the burial mound is guarded by stone statues of guardians and sculptures of lions. Not far from Wang Gong’s tomb are the tomb of King Kongmin, the mausoleum of his wife, Queen Kongmin, and the burial places of other rulers and members of the royal family. Panmun-jeom village is located 7 km from Kaesong.. It is interesting in that a demarcation line separating North and South Korea runs 1 km from it. It was here that negotiations were held between the two belligerent states during the Patriotic War of Liberation and an armistice agreement was signed. The meeting room where these events took place is now open to tourists. At the demarcation line, 150-meter masts with the flag of each of them rise from the sides of each state. Interestingly, the line is real, it is a concrete strip 7 cm high. To visit this area, you need to obtain a special permit. Pakyeong Waterfall is located 25 km north of Kaesong.. Here, from a height of 37 m, a stream of water falls into a natural pool. The waterfall is most attractive after the rainy season. Next to it is a pavilion “for contemplation”, from where a beautiful view of the waterfall opens. At the top of Pakyeong Falls, you can see the gates of Daeheungsan Fortress. From the ancient fortress, the Buddhist temple Kwanum of 970, which was rebuilt in the middle of the 17th century, has been preserved. The temple was built without the use of nails. It has a seven-tiered pagoda, behind which there is a cave, which in ancient times served for rituals.