Culinary delight of Jeju and… Vegemite.
October 27, 2010
A Birthday Tribute
November 1, 2010

The very first Observatory in Korea


In the history, in many countries, Astronomy is actually a very big part. Comets, planets, shooting stars…. These astronomical phenomenals are considered as a sign from above. It appears in Bible, ancient Egypt stories, Greek myth and so on and on and on. Well, think about it. We know what those are now, but still pretty darn mysterious, don’t you think? If you’ve ever seen shooting star shower or even just one shooting star, you’ll know what I mean. People thought that is a sign to time to make a decision, a new king is born, or sometimes it’s time to harvest or something. Korea is not an exception. Moreover, our ancient had an observatory.

Be hold!


This is ‘Cheom Sung Dae‘, the very first observatory of Korea. The name ‘Cheomsungdae’ means stargazing tower.

According to our friend Wikipedia, “Cheomseongdae is the oldest surviving observatory in East Asia, and one of the oldest scientific installations on Earth. It dates to the 7th century to the time of kingdom of Silla, which had its capital in Gyeongju. Cheomseongdae was designated as the Korea’s 31st national treasure on December 20, 1962.”

A long time ago, from the moment I’ve found out about the fact, I always loved this huge monument. Ohh.. love of astronomy. In one art class, I actually built a scale model of Cheomsungdae by clay. It was awesome- and accurate I might add.

One summer few years ago, I took a trip to GyeongJu, the most historical city in the country. Gyoengju was a capital city of Kingdom of Silla. GyoengJu is preserved well with Silla’s history and treasures. Of course the biggest goal of the trip was to visit Cheomsungdae. I’ve been there few times as a school trip or family trip but never on my own will. Thinking about how ancient Silla people have done same thing what I do now is very thrilling. Maybe that is why history is so fascinating. You’ve never met anyone and you never will but get to know them and realize we are the same kind of people in centuries apart.

I have huge anticipation to see Cheomsungdae one more time, but just like pyramid in Egypt, I could see Cheomsungdae pretty much everywhere in the city. It’s in quite flat area, so I saw it from long before actually get there.

Cheomsungdae, I can see it everywhere!


The weather was not good when I was there. It would be great if I could take a long exposure trail photo along with Cheomsungdae. The reenactment of kingdom of Silla, so to speak. 🙂

Oh and it has the cuttest fence I’ve ever seen!


Look at the fence!


Not only watching the night sky is amazing, but also getting to know about astronomy is fascinating. Don’t you agree? 🙂

Juno Kim
Juno Kim
Juno Kim, a happiness-seeking storyteller. Photographer, writer, and trained mechanical engineer. Life-long nerd. I left the cubic farm to follow my true love: the world. A firm believer of serendipity, astronomy enthusiaster, and living by passion and love in life. Currently, on a quest to discover stories and find the place where I can call 'home'. Follow my journey through @RunawayJuno and Google+ .


  1. Very cool! I might have to make it there soon!

    Thanks for posting this!

  2. Gray says:

    Rats. That fence answers my first question, which was going to be: Can you go inside? Oh well. It is pretty cool.

  3. Did you try hwangnam bread in Gyeongju? I wasn’t particularly thrilled wth it, but Koreans seemed to love it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *