Seonjeongneung – The Royal Tombs


Yurie Takano
and Me

As my stay here in Seoul draws to an end, I must thank everyone involved with the Seoul International Music Competition for making me feel so welcome. This has been an amazing experience which has allowed me to briefly sample the culture, both historic and current, of this wonderful Country.

On one of my trips out around the Gangnam district I set out to visit the historic site of Seonjeongneung with Yurie Takano, a Japanese Soprano and fellow competitor.  The site houses the Royal Tombs Seolleung ( The Royal Tomb of King Seongjong – 1495 and Queen Jeonnhyeon 1530 ) and Jeongneung ( The Royal Tomb of King Jungjong – moved to this site in 1562 ).  The site was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2009, enhancing its status and preserving the location for future generations.

The cost to enter the site is only ₩ 1,000.00 which is very reasonable when you consider a cup of tea or coffee can cost ₩ 4,500.00. Walking around the site I found the place very serene and tranquil which was quite unexpected in such a large bustling city.  To me the Tombs were quite phantasmagorical, an beautiful and picturesque resting place guarded by huge statues resembling humble servants and protectors in the shape of man and beast.

This mystical place made me think of the way the homes of the Hobbits were described in the Lord Of The Rings, a story that my Dad read to me as a child, and in my imagination I was immediately transported to another place in time.

I was fascinated that the grounds in the park leading to the tombs at the top of the hill were split into two different paths. One for visitors and the second a spirit road leading to decorative steps of the spiritual shrine.

The Tomb Guardians were on hand to make sure that visitors respected these special stone paved pathways as they weren’t for the living and that we used the right path to explore this peaceful location.

I hope that you will enjoy sharing a little more of my trip to Seoul over the next couple of weeks.

To close tonight I wanted to let you know that I will be performing in Waterperry Opera Festival’s Fundraising Gala on the 11th April.  The event will aim to raise funds for its charitable activities and to celebrate the launch of their 2019 programme. I believe that it will be a fun evening with some fabulous performances and if you can make it I am sure you will enjoy the evening.

46 thoughts on “Seonjeongneung – The Royal Tombs

    1. Thank you John, I got dressed up at one of the museums in traditional costume which was great fun, the ladies loved plaiting my blonde hair and were really pleased I wanted to join in.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. Everywhere is so efficiently organised and very clean and tidy. It was nice visiting early Spring before the tourist season starts in earnest.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  1. What a amazing place Charlotte,
    I’m so pleased you enjoyed it so much, with lovely photo’s too.
    Good luck with the fund raising event, at Waterperry Opera festival.😘😘

    1. I’ve lots of lovely photographs to share over the next couple of weeks with news about performances over the summer.

      It should be a lovely evening, it’s a shame you can’t make it. I’ll see you soon.

      All my best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. You’d love it Gill. We went on a cake and café tasting day too, its called the Instagram tour.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. Oh I hope so Maria although the competition season ends this month for me as I’m working right through until winter, I’ve learnt so much from the experience.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. I really enjoyed South Korea, we went to the demilitarisation zone on a tour too.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. I have readjusted by body clock now and I’m busy learning new songs an excellent week.

      Merci Beaucoup Pascal
      Charlotte

    1. Yes I got some lovely pictures with cherry blossom its gorgeous isn’t it.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  2. I’m sure you put heart and Seoul into your singing! (Somebody had to say it) and it is clear you took full advantage of opportunities while you were there.

    1. Haha love it. I watched the singers then took the opportunity to go on lots of trips.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. I love it when the trees are in blossom in the UK so it was a great time of year to visit South Korea.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  3. Lovely photos, Charlotte, and I do see the similarity to Hobbiton. I love the opportunities you have to travel the world! Best of luck with your concert when you return!

    1. Thank you, Noelle, I’ve been given my solo songs to perform and a couple of duets so that’s exciting.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. Thank you Daniel, I spent a long time learning the material for this competition and I’m sad I didn’t get to use it all but I shall make use of it in future performances. I’ve put one of the song suggestions forward for the Waterperry Festival so that’s good that they chose it.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  4. You are not only talented and hardworking, you are also lucky, Charlotte. I just love reading about your adventures—what great experiences you are having! And I have to add: I love it that your dad read Lord of the Rings to you. To my children and step-children, I read the entire cycle three times, and I loved every minute of all three times. (I think they did too, although I shouldn’t speak for then; children always surprise us with their memories of growing up.) I could never finish without tears—as much for coming to the end of a wonderful shared experience as anything. And: I wish I were close enough to come to your goal concerto. Some day I hope to hear you live. 🙂

    1. My parents read to us a lot, I still like audio books now Peter, in fact I prefer them sometimes to films so that I can use my own imagination. I hope you get a chance to listen to me live Peter, I will be putting a video from my performance at the competition on my blog soon.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. You’re most welcome. I went to the demilitarisation zone on a tour and we went underground in a tunnel that was concreted up in the middle, all fascinating stuff.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  5. Your photos speak volumes, so many wonderful sites that you traveled to, quite amazing.
    Thanks Charlotte for all of the great places that you travel to and more importantly the people and places that you encounter along the way.

    1. I love meeting new people and seeing new places. It was completely different taste sensations from the food and the sights were amazing.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. I’m looking forward to the fund raiser it takes a lot of money to put on an opera festival, these out of London venues are so important and give great opportunities to young singers after six to eight years training so giving a little back in a performance evening is a treat.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  6. A very beautiful and interesting post! Thank you so much! I hope the competition was a great success for everyone! ;))))

  7. I am sure the fundraising gala concert will be a great success – I wish you very well with it, Charlotte.
    Thank you for the tour and wonderful photos of the royal tombs. Such a mystical and beautiful site.

    1. Thank you Clare I’ve been learning a new duet for it this weekend and refreshing some songs I’ve been asked to sing.
      I think you would love visiting Seoul Clare I wish my photos were as good as yours to do the places justice.
      All my best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. Thank you Rev.Tim I try to make the best out of every opportunity and this was a wonderful chance to visit South Korea, I’m hoping to put the video of me singing at the competition on the blog next week.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

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