Juche109(2020) / 5 / 23 /
Koguryo Mural Tombs, World Cultural Heritages
The mural tombs dating back to Koguryo Kingdom, a powerful state that existed in the East for a thousand years (B.C. 277-A.D. 668), show the outstanding architecture and pictorial art of the Korean nation.
The stone tombs have diverse interior structures and rich mural contents.
The chambers of tombs on hills and flatlands were piled up with stones and then covered with earth. And their ceiling styles are diverse like arch, triangular and parallel styles. The inner walls of chambers were plastered or erected with a monolith or polished plain rocks. And various themes of pictures were depicted on inner walls.
Koguryo mural tombs can be divided into tomb with figure and genre paintings, tomb with figure and genre paintings and picture of four guardians, and tomb with picture of four guardians according to their themes.
Typical of the figure and genre painting tombs are the mausoleum of King Kogukwon (4th century) and the Tokhung-ri mural tomb (408).
The Yaksu-ri mural tomb (late 4th century-early 5th century) is typical of the tombs with figure and genre paintings and picture of four guardians, which hold an overwhelming majority in the Koguryo mural tombs. They are characterized by peculiar structure of chamber and rich mural contents.
Typical tombs with picture of four guardians (blue dragon, white tiger, phoenix and snake-tortoise) are the Honam-ri tomb (5th-6th century) and the three tombs in Kangso (6th-7th century).
Koguryo mural tombs are mainly distributed in Pyongyang City and South Hwanghae Province of the DPRK.
In July 2004, 63 Koguryo mural tombs were registered as world cultural heritages at the 28th Meeting of the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO.
The Koguryo mural tombs have been well preserved as national treasures under the Workers' Party of Korea's policy of national heritage preservation.