Jeonju Hyanggyo is a Confucian school, which was a national education center during Joseon Dynasty and located near Jeonju Hanok Village (전주한옥마을). It was originally built during Goryeo Dynasty at a different site, but the present one was rebuilt by King Seonjo in Joseon Dynasty at the current location. It is a peaceful historic place where traditional Korean architecture finds a beautiful balance with the surrounding nature.
139 Hyanggyo-gil, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si, Jeollabuk-do, South Korea
Bus: Take No. 101, 190, or 430 and get off at Girindae-ro Hanbyeokru/Hanbyeokru Jamanbyeokhwa Maeul bus stop (기린대로 한벽루/한벽루 자만벽화마을)
9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Jeonju Hyanggyo in Korean Drama and Korean Movies
Historians say Jeonju Hyanggyo is one of the most well-preserved historic sites in South Korea. Thanks to its originality and peaceful atmosphere, this historical site has been featured in several Korean dramas and Korean movies. The list includes Love In The Moonlight (구르미 그린 달빛), Sungkyunkwan Scandal (성균관 스캔들), Princess Hours (궁), and YMCA Baseball Team (YMCA 야구단).
Manhwaru (만화루), The Main Gate at Jeonju Hyanggyo
During Imjinwaeran, Japanese Invasion in the 16th century, the Japanese military destroyed the Gyeonggijeon Shrine and the Jeonju Hyanggyo completely. In 1603, Jeonju Hyanggyo was rebuilt at the present location. The site is only a few minutes away from the lively main streets of Hanok Village, and yet it is such a quiet place to stroll.
Ilwolmun (일월문) is the inner gate, meaning the gate of the sun and the moon. The center door was for the kings.
Daeseongjeon (대성전) is the Confucian shrine hall. The hall enshrines the five great Confucian philosophers including Confucius in the center. On the left and right side of the hall, the Ten Wise Confucian Disciples and the Six Sages of the Song Dynasty are placed, respectively. The two other buildings on the left and right sides of Daeseongjeon enshrines the Seven Sages of China and the Eighteen Sages of Korea.
Gingko Trees at Jeonju Hyanggyo
Two ginkgo trees stand in front of Daeseongjeon on each side. These trees are older than 400 years. They have a circumference of 10.4m (34 feet) and a height of 32m (104 feet). These ginkgo trees were planted because they are resistant to pests, which implies the spirit of Confucian scholars to be honest and uncorrupted.
Passing the inner gate, here stands Myeongnyundang (명륜당). This building was a lecture hall and it still holds occasional events or lectures. Myeongnyun in its name means ‘to delight the ethics of human society.’
This house had the character of a national college in the Joseon Dynasty and instructed Saseoohgyeong (사서오경/4 histories and 5 classics) to 90 students. This building is the oldest Myeongnyundang in South Korea.
There are two buildings on the left and right sides of Myeongnyundang. They are Dongjae (동재) and Seojae (서재) and they served as the boarding houses of Confucian students.
Jeonju Hyanggyo has different charms in each season, but its beauty during autumn is second to none. If you want to see it covered with a golden blanket, here is a link for it.