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Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Royal Tomb of King Gojong of Goryeo Dynasty, Ganghwa County, Incheon Metropole: Joseon Dynasty has Emperor Gojong Yi Myeong-bok. In the other hand, Goryeo Dynasty has King Gojong Wang Cheol.


King Gojong of Goryeo (Born: February 3rd 1192 - Died: July 21st 1259), whose born as Wang Cheol (왕철/王皞), was the twenty-third ruler of Goryeo in the present-day Korea, reigned from 1213 to 1259. Gojong was married to Empress Anhye, daughter of Huijong, the twenty-first king of Goryeo.

Gojong's reign was marked by prolonged conflict with the Mongol Empire, which sought to conquer Goryeo, ending only to settle peace in 1259. During his reign actual power rested with the Ubong Choi lineage of military dictators. General Choi Chung-heon exercised his power controlling over the king and his regime.

Although ascending to the throne in 1213, Gojong did not wield much power until powerful advisors were killed off. In 1216, the Khitan invaded but was defeated. In August 1232, Gojong moved the capital of Goryeo from Songdo (Kaesong) to the island of Ganghwa and started the construction of significant defenses there, in order to better defend from the Mongol threat. 

The period of his reign is a sensible bit of the declination of Goryeo Dynasty. Internationally, strong foreign countries like the Georan (a tribe in Manchuria) and the Mongolia (this called the Yuan Dynasty later) invaded the Goryeo Dynasty from the time of his reign 18th year (1231). Their continuous aggressions turned the national territory of the Goryeo Dynasty reduced to ashes with damage to human lives and loss to cultural properties. 

In a crisis of the country, King Gojong gave orders that the complete collection of Buddhist Sutras, Laws and Treatises called Daejanggyeong (Tripitaka Koreana) in Korean should be made at once in order to overcome the matters of fear in his country through the help of Buddha. A collection of Buddhist scriptures recorded on some 81,000 wooden blocks was completed in 1251.

One of his achievements is the manufacture of the collection of all the sacred writings of Buddhism. This has been taken charge of in the Haeinsa Temple located in Hapcheon County, Southern Gyeongsang Province and this is called Goryeodaejanggyeong which means the complete collection of Buddhist Sutras, Laws and Treated made in the Goryeo Dynasty. 

The work was perhaps motivated by Gojong's hopes to change fortunes through the act of religious devotion; however the originals were later destroyed by the Mongols — the existing Tripitaka is a replica of Gojong's original, and was commissioned around one hundred years after the originals were lost.

Gojong resisted the Mongol invasion for nearly thirty years before the kingdom was forced to make peace with the Mongols in 1259; Gojong died soon after. King Gojong was buried at the Goryeo Royal Tomb of Hongneung in Gukhwa-ri san 180-beonji, Ganghwa-eup, Ganghwa County, Incheon Metropole. He was posthumously known as King Anhyo the Great (안효대왕/安孝大王).

Originally, this normal sized tomb of Goryeo-Hongneung consisted of a terrace piled up to three floors having a pavilion on the first floor, a sculpture shaped a man on the second and main tomb on the third, parts of stones for using a porch around the grave were remained and stones carved into animals were arranged in ones on every four corners in the tomb but at the present day, two engravings shaped a man among the four are remained. Lately the balcony was repaired and stone barricade was constructed in the bottom of the territory of this temple. But the original form of this royal tomb cannot be seen due to the works for repair.