As it’s Fall now, I’ve got to say something about one of my favorite places in Gyeongju while there’s still time to check out the Autumn colors. Just a stones stone’s throw from Cheomseongdae (첨성대) Observatory and a ten minute walk from downtown is the Confucian shrine of Sunghyejeon (숭혜전), built to house the memorial tablets of Shilla Kings Gyeongsun (경순왕), Michu (미추이사금) and Munmu the Great (문무왕).
Walking through the gates here feels a bit like stepping back into Chosun-era Korea. The calmness of the atmosphere never fails to move me and if you can catch it now when the gingko trees are bright yellow, it’s just magic. It’s a fairly large complex of buildings, so feel free to nose a round a bit. The only part that’s not usually open to the public is the back part which I assume is only open for ceremonial holidays.
Directions: To find Sunghyejeon (숭혜전) Shrine, face the south gate of Daereungwon (대릉원) tombs from the parking lot, with your back to Cheomseongdae (첨성대) Observatory. Follow the road left along the outside wall of the tombs park for just 2 minutes and it’s on your left, just before a large parking lot. Go around the block and the entrance is on the side opposite from the tombs park.