Carved dragon designs on the side of the stone drums at Wongudan Altar

Carved dragon designs

These three large plaster stone drums located next to Hwangudan Altar (Wongudan Altar) are similar to those once used as instruments during offerings and sacrifices to heaven. The drums were set up in 1902 for the 40th anniversary of Emperor Gojong’s (1852-1919) ascension to the throne.

Gojong held power from 1863 to 1907 and was the 26th and final king of the Joseon Dynasty. He was also the first emperor of the Great Korean Empire (Daehan Empire).

If you look closely, you can find intricate dragon patterns carved in relief into the sides. These dragon designs are some of the best examples of late Joseon Dynasty sculptures and art at the time.