Monuments, Statues and Memorials
Originally built in the 1970’s as the official residence and offices of President Kim Il Sung, this is a vast, imposing building in the North East of Pyongyang. Upon Kim Il Sung’s death in 1994, Kim Jong Il decreed the building to be converted into a mausoleum, where the President rests to this very day. He was joined by his son upon his passing away in 2011. Open to tourists every Sunday and Thursday, you will be able to see both Leaders lying in state, as well as viewing their many awards and decorations bestowed by nation states and institutions It is a solemn experience but well worth it to gain an insight into the political culture of the DPRK.
Situated in the centre of Pyongyang, these are the huge bronze statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, flanked by two further monuments on either side depicting the ‘Anti Japanese Revolutionary Struggle’ and ‘Socialist Revolution and Construction’. Constructed in 1972 and renovated in 2012 when Kim Il Sung was joined by his son Kim Jong Il, it is a site of pilgrimage for the North Korean people, who will often come and lay flowers at their feet on days of national importance.
Arch of Triumph
Built in 1982 to commemorate the resistance to Japanese rule between 1925 – 1945, it was inaugurated on the 70th Birthday of Kim Il Sung. Each of the 25,500 blocks of granite represents a single day in his life, up to that point. The Arch is slightly larger than the Parisian equivalent, standing 60 metres high and 52.5 metres wide.
Erected in 1961 to show ‘The heroic mettle and indomitable spirits of the Korean people’, its depicts the legendary Chollima horse that could run up to 400km a day. This symbol was widely used by the DPRK in the post-war reconstruction of the nation. It stands to a height of 46 metres.
Located at the heart of the city, it is here where the nation’s great political rallies, mass demonstrations and military parades take place on official holidays. Finished in 1953, it is a vast central square flanked by major ministries and departments, and a viewing stand where present Leader Kim Jong Un and dignitaries review the military parades.
Juche is the guiding philosophy of the nation, and as such this tower, with its torch permanently shining across the capital, is a strong symbol to all DPRK citizens. Situated on the banks of the Taedong river, it was constructed in 1982 and standing 170 metres high. There is a lift to the summit (optional for tourists EUR 5 / person) which provides panoramic views across the capital.
This unique edifice consists of the three arms of the Worker’s Party of Korea; the workers, farmers and the intellectuals. It stands at 50 metres high and was built in 1995. It is located quite close to the Tower of the Juche idea and the two are often visited at the same time.
Revolutionary Martyr’s Cemetery
Occupying a tranquil spot on Mount Taesong, overlooking Pyongyang, here is the final resting place of many of the heroes of the nation. Covering an area of 300,000 square metres, it was built in 1975 and renovated ten years later. There are bronze busts of the revolutionaries, and a large granite flag stands as the background. It is a sacred place for North Koreans, who often will lay flowers of respect to the fallen.
A modern construction from 2001, this monument stands at the end of Thongil (reunification) Street. It symbolizes the Three Principles of National Reunification, depicting two women hanging up the emblem of reunification. It is seen as the gateway to Kaesong and the DMZ which lies around 2 hours’ drive South of it.
Korean People’s Army Martyr’s Cemetery
Constructed in time to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the Korean War, it is situated opposite the 3 Revolutions Exhibition and provides a resting place to the heroes of the Korean People’s Army.