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UNESCO World Heritage list

Nine Confucian academies slated for inclusion on UNESCO World Heritage list

 

Dosan Seowon in Andong, Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, is among the nine seowon (Confucian academies) listed in the application for inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage list. (Homepage of Dosan Seowon)

Dosan Seowon in Andong, Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, is among the nine seowon(Confucian academies) listed in the application for inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage list. (Homepage of Dosan Seowon)

 

By Kang Gahui and Yoon Sojung 

Nine Confucian academies from the Joseon Dynasty era (1392-1910) are expected to be listed as UNESCO World Heritage.

The Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA) on May 14 said the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), which screens applications for UNESCO World Heritage, recommended in its evaluation report that the nine seowon, or a private Confucian academy, be added to the exclusive UNESCO list. Recommended candidates are generally included on the list unless otherwise stated. 

The nine academies mentioned in the application are Sosu Seowon in Yeongju; Dosan and Byeongsan Seowon in Andong; Oksan Seowon in Gyeongju; Dodong Seowon in Dalseong-gun County; Namgye Seowon in Hamyang-gun County; Piram Seowon in Jangseong-gun County; Museong Seowon in Jeongeup; and Donam Seowon in Nonsan.

seowon served as the venue for Confucian education and memorial rites during the Joseon era, with functions including educating youths and maintaining Confucian order in nearby villages.

CHA said ICOMOS considered the seowon's role in helping spread Neo-Confucianism and how it exemplified the patterned architectural style of Confucian academies to justify the candidate’s "outstanding universal value." 

The final decision will come in June at the 43rd session of the World Heritage Committee in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Should the nine academies get approval, Korea will have 14 items on the UNESCO World Heritage list. 

Sosu Seowon in Yeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, dating back to 1542, is the oldest Confucian academy in Korea. Formerly named Baegundong Seowon, this academy was built by Puggi County Governor Ju Se-bung (1495-1554).

Sosu Seowon in Yeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, dating back to 1542, is the oldest surviving Confucian academy in Korea. Formerly named Baegundong Seowon, this academy was built by Puggi County Governor Ju Se-bung (1495-1554).

Dosan seowon was established in 1574 in order to pay tribute to Yi Hwang (1502-1571), a leading Confucian scholar of Joseon times. (CHA)

Dosan Seowon in Andong, Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, was established in 1574 for paying tribute to Yi Hwang (1502-1571), a leading Confucian scholar in Joseon times. (CHA)

Byeongsan Seowon in Andong is considered the best built seowon architecture among all existing ones. (CHA)

Byeongsan Seowon in Andong, Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, is considered to have the best built architecture among all existing seowon. (CHA) 

 

kgh89@korea.kr

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