K-Travel | June.20.2024

Donggung and Wolji: Gyeongju's Otherworldly Transformation at Sunset

When you think of traditional Korean architecture, do you still picture Gyeongbokgung Palace?  


When you think of beautiful night views of traditional Korean buildings, do you still think of Gyeongbokgung first? 


How about thinking of this place first from now on? 



Experience the rebirth of Korea's beauty at sunset,

at Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond in Gyeongju

경주의 동궁과 월지


From the moment the sun sets, you'll feel like you're walking in a dream.


It's a great place to visit in any season—spring, summer, fall, or winter. But it's especially wonderful in the summer.



This place is famous as a romantic date spot, but it also has an amazing historical story. 



“What is Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond?”



It's one of the top 100 places in Korea that Koreans must visit. Built in 674 during the 30th year of King Munmu's reign in the Silla Dynasty, it's an artificial pond with a lot of history. 


"They dug a pond inside the palace,

made a mountain,

planted beautiful flowers and trees,

and kept rare birds and animals."


It was Korea's first zoo and botanical garden!



It was so fancy and amazing that: 

It was used to host foreign diplomats 

It was a vacation spot for royalty 

Among the many historical sites in Gyeongju, this one is especially loved for its beauty and atmosphere. 



The true value of this place begins at sunset

When the sun goes down, this place becomes another world



This place shows its true beauty at night.  

The lights around the pond create a magical atmosphere as they reflect on the water. Walking here feels like stepping back in time, as if you were one of the royals strolling through the gardens. 


"The name Wolji means

a pond as clear and calm as a mirror."



It feels like there's a whole other world inside the water, creating an illusion of a perfect, pristine reflection. You can find yourself captivated, gazing into the pond, feeling peaceful and filled with a deep sense of happiness. 



The walking paths here blend nature and culture. As you stroll along, you can admire various sculptures and historical artifacts, naturally immersing yourself in the culture of the Silla Dynasty. 



The pond at Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond is artificial, but it's not just filled with still water; real water flows through it. 


The original water inlet system from the Silla Dynasty period is still in place, drawing in water that is filtered through sand and gravel, ensuring that only clean water flows today. 



💋 Two special facts no one tells you!



First, the original name of this place was Anapji Pond!


During the Silla Dynasty, this pond was called Wolji, but in the Joseon Dynasty, it was called Anapji. Anapji means "a pond where wild geese and ducks cry sadly in a place that became a ruin after the fall of Silla," symbolizing the fall of the Silla Dynasty. 😭 


In 2011, the name Anapji was restored to its original Silla name, Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond. Since then, the official name is Donggung and Wolji, but many Koreans still remember and use the name Anapji.


Second, this pond represents the sea!



King Munmu, who wanted to protect Silla even after his death, requested to be buried in the sea. Accordingly, Wolji Pond was designed to symbolize the sea.



That's why the pavilion here is called Imhaejeon 

which means 👀 a pavilion overlooking the sea. 



Gyeongju's Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond is not just a beautiful pond. It breathes the history of Silla and offers unforgettable romantic memories for couples. Enjoy a unique journey where nature, culture, and history come together at Gyeongju's Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond. Get ready to be captivated by this hidden gem of Korean travel, Gyeongju's Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond. 



- Information about this place

경상북도 경주시 원화로 102

102, Wonhwa-ro, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do, Korea

💎 KST 09:00 ~ 22:00 (Last entry at 21:30)


- Important Notes

Alcohol, smoking, flammable materials, cooking and camping equipment are prohibited.

No food is allowed (drinks are an exception).

Keep off the grass.

LED balloons are not allowed.

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