Manwoltae Palace (Ruins)

Manwoltae Palace was the official royal palace of the Goryeo Dynasty. Located in the ancient capital city of Kaesong, the palace was completely destroyed during the Red Turbans invasions of Korea during the 14th century.


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, where the king and royal family resided, and the Hwangsŏng, where affairs of state were conducted. Large buildings such as the Changhwa, and Wondok Halls contained shrines and living quarters, while Hoegyong Hall, the largest and most impressive, contained the throne room. The complex also contained a stone astronomy tower known as the Chomsongdae, 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. 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, Manwoldae 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.

  • Manwŏltae

North Korea