Sajik Park

Seoul Sajikdan (Altar) at Sajik Park in Seoul
Seoul Sajikdan (Altar) at Sajik Park

Sajik Park is a park located near the Central Government Complex on the hills of Mt. Inwang. Rites to the deities of earth and grains are performed here. It was here where sacrifices and ceremonies were performed in honor of the deities of the earth and the deities of the grains. These ceremonies and rituals were performed in hopes of a bountiful harvest and included prayers, sacrifices, music, and dance.

These sacrifices have been held at this location in the spring and autumn since the Goryeo dynasty (918–1392). In 1395, King Taejo had the Sajikdan altar built at this location west of Gyeongbokgung Palace. The sacrifices were performed at this altar.

In 1911, sacrifices here ended and most of the altar and other buildings were dismantled or destroyed by the Japanese during their occupation of Korea. Much of what once existed may be gone which is disappointing to most visitors, but the stone base of the alter, surrounding walls, and the main gate still remain. The Sajikdan main gate, which dates back to 1720, still exists today.

In 1922, the Japanese turned the area into a public park. Since then it has become one of the most popular parks in Jongno-gu along with Tapgol Park to the east near Insadong..

Playground and statues at Sajik Park in Seoul
Playground at the park

In 1988, the ritual was restarted. The ritual is now held once a year on October 3 which is National Foundation Day.

Today, visitors here can enjoy multiple playgrounds, a library, and statues of Sin Saimdang, Hwanghakjeong, and Yi I.

Walls surrounding Sajikdan altar at Sajik Park in Seoul
Walls surrounding Sajikdan altar