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Hancha 滿
Revised Romanization Manwoldae
McCune–Reischauer Manwŏldae

Manwŏldae Palace was the official royal palace of the Goryeo Dynasty. Located in the ancient capital city of Kaesŏng, the palace was completely destroyed during the Red Turbans invasions of Korea during the 14th century.[1]


Construction on the palace began in 919, at the beginning of the Goryo dynasty; it was built south of the Songak Mountains for good Feng Shui. The palace was divided into two major sections; the Kungsŏng (궁성, 宮城), where the king and royal family resided, and the Hwangsŏng (황성, 皇城), where affairs of state were conducted. Large buildings such as the Changhwa (장화전, 長和殿), and Wŏndŏk (원덕전, 元德殿) Halls contained shrines and living quarters, while Hoegyŏng Hall (회경전, 會慶殿), the largest and most impressive, contained the throne room. The complex also contained a stone astronomy tower known as the Chŏmsŏngdae (첨성대, 瞻星臺), which was used by royal astrologers. The palace was burned to the ground in 1361 when the Red Turbans invasions of Korea, sacking the city of Kaesong and forcing the king to temporary flee Andong.[1] Contemporary records describe the palace to as containing buildings of immense proportions similar to the building sizes found in the Forbidden City. The architectural style and decoration is said to have followed the uniquely Korean royal color palate called Dancheong which is seen in other Korean palaces that still stand today. However, Mandoldae Palace is described to have contained many multistory buildings, more gold embellishments, blue and white as compared to the surviving Korean Palaces from Korea's more recent Confucian Joeson Dynasty, which stressed humility and restrain in all things. Therefore Mandoldae gives us valuable insight into another distinct form of Korean palace architecture that had been forgotten due to foreign invasions and presently the location of these palace sites in the secluded Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea.


The palace is thought to have had blue celadon roof tiles, similar to other excavated tiles dating from the same period. [2]


Excavation of the ruins of Manwoldae Palace began under the supervision of the North Korean government, but merged into a joint Korean cultural project. Many valuable relics of the late Goryeo period have been uncovered at the site, including ceramics, metal items, ancestral tablets, mirrors, and over 3,000 roofing tiles. It is on a list of locations planned by North Korea to become UNESCO World Heritage Sites.[1]

A 25 cm celadon jar with an inlaid monkey and tree design in an underglaze of gold found at the site is held at the National Museum of Korea. [3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Chung, Ah-young (2009-01-04). "Ancient Site of Goryeo Palace Unveiled". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2009-02-17. 
  2. ^ "Celadon Concave Roof-end Tile with Scroll Design in Relief". National Museum of Korea. 2014. Retrieved September 26, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Celadon Jar with Inlaid Monkey and Tree Design in Underglaze Gold". National Museum of Korea. 2014. Retrieved September 26, 2014.