The Gyeongju National Museum, located in the capital of the ancient Silla Kingdom, is a treasure house of about 130,000 artifacts. The collection includes thirteen national treasures, including a golden crown from the Cheonmachong Tomb of a Silla king. The museum has three exhibition halls dedicated to its permanent collection and one special exhibition hall. The Art Hall, displaying artistic masterpieces from the Silla Kingdom, consists of three galleries dedicated to sculpture, metal craft, and art from Hwangnyongsa Temple, respectively. The Anapji Hall displays about 300 Unified Silla Kingdom relics excavated from Anapji Pond in Gyeongju.
The Gwangju National Museum opened in 1978, becoming the first national museum to be established after Korea’s liberation. The collection consists of around 53,000 items, many of which were found in the sea near Sinan. The museum, a representative cultural organization of the Gwangju and Jeollanam-do area, has been involved in the excavation of more than 100 ruins and has held more than 60 exhibitions. To celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2009, the museum made sweeping improvements to its exhibition rooms and established new concepts for its facilities, focusing on devising innovative ways to inform visitors of the history and culture of the region from prehistory to the present.
The Jeonju National Museum, opened in 1990, has about 30,000 relics, of which about 12,000 are on display. It was the first national museum to open a social education center (in 2002), and has been making improvements to its permanent exhibition rooms since 2007. In April 2008, the museum transformed its Archaeology Room into an Ancient Culture Room, enabling visitors to better understand how Jeollabuk-do culture has influenced the history of Korea. Another unique feature of the Jeonju National Museum is the Touch Museum, a space for children and the visually-impaired that has played a pioneering role in advancing museum education.
The Daegu National Museum opened in 1994, and features an extensive number of relics excavated from Daegu and Gyeongsangbuk-do, an area rich in artifacts from the Old Stone Age to the Iron Age. Particularly common are remains from the period when the Silla and Gaya civilizations were in competition.
The Buyeo National Museum is located in Buyeo, the location of the capital of Baekje during the period when ancient culture reached the height of its development. As such, the Buyeo National Museum specializes in the history of the Baekje Kingdom, with about 26,000 relics in its collection (1000 on display), including three national treasures and seven provincial treasures.
The Gongju National Museum opened in 1940 as a result of the efforts of the Gongju Historic Sites Preservation Society, a local organization founded in 1934 with the goal of preserving the cultural properties of the Baekje Kingdom. In 1946, the museum officially became the Gongju Branch of the National Museum. It received its current status in 1975, and was relocated to a new building in May 2004. The museum features about 19,000 relics from the Daejeon and Chungcheongnam-do area, including 19 national treasures and three provincial treasures.
The Jinju National Museum is located within the grounds of the Jinjuseong Fortress(Historic Site No. 118), where the fiercest battle of the Imjinwaeran (Japanese Invasion of 1592) was fought. The museum building was designed by the first-generation of Korean architect, Kim Sukeun (1931-1986), and was opened on November 2, 1984. In 2008, the museum opened its History and Culture Hall with the aim of introducing the traditional culture of the western area of Gyeongsangnam-do to visitors, and leading the development and promotion of local culture.
The Cheongju National Museum opened in 1987 with the goal of preserving and exhibiting some of the many relics of the midland area. Situated at the eastern foot of Mt.Uamsan, the building, designed by master Korean architect Kim Sukeun, is a landmark of modern architecture. The museum constantly strives to update and reorganize its facilities, as exemplified by the 2007 opening of the information library.
The Gimhae National Museum has integrated the once-buried traces of the Gaya, a culture that flourished during the Korean Iron Age, into the greater whole of Korean history. Opened in 1998, the museum specializes in archeological relics that illustrate the Gaya culture of quality. Located at the foot of Gujibong Peak, the legendary birth place of King Suro (founder of the Gaya), the museum’s main building reflects Suro’s “Kingdom of Iron” by using black brick, iron ore, and charcoal.
Opened in 2001, the Jeju National Museum features exhibits from the prehistoric age to the Joseon Dynasty period, with a focus on relics found at the numerous ruins in Jeju. The museum’s permanent collection galleries focus on the development of prehistoric cultures and the Tamna Kingdom, along with Jeju culture during the Goryeo Dynasty. On display outside the museum are a host of daily life implements made of Jeju basalt, as well as many dongjaseok (stone statues of children).
The Chuncheon National Museum opened in October 2002 to serve as both a treasure house of historical artifacts from the Gangwon-do area and a cultural facility for local residents. On display in its four permanent exhibition rooms are about 1,100 relics, including four registered cultural properties, including the Seated Bodhisattva from Hansongsa Temple (National Treasure No. 124).
The Naju National Museum opened in November, 2013. The Bannam Tumili (Historic Site No.513), where the museum is located, includes around 40 tombs, and is an important archaeological site for studying Mahan culture, which formed in the 5th century CE. The gilt-bronze crown, gilt-bronze shoes and the sword with ring pommel were found in large jar coffins in these tumuli. The Naju National Museum displays approximately 1,200 intact relics of ancient Mahan culture in the Yeongsangang River basin in the 1st Exhibition Hall. The museum also provides opportunities for visitors to experience the process of excavation and conservation of artifacts. In addition, watch cultural heritage management directly in the open and visible storage room the 2nd Exhibition Hall. The Naju National Museum on its first step forwards will play its proper role to conserve cultural heritage, provide information, and take a loyal part as a new central cultural organization in the Honam area.Iksan National Museum
The Iksan National Museum displays and preserves relics excavated from the former site of Mireuksa Buddhist Temple. The museum has been the treasure house of culture since its opening in 1997. The Iksan National Museum has 19,363 relics, which are displayed by function and type. The museum is also a place for education on history and culture. It runs the Summer Culture School for elementary and junior-high school students in the province. It also operates the History and Culture Class for teachers and the Saturday Traditional Culture Class for citizens. In addition, the museum has various programs, such as special exhibitions and seminars. The Iksan National Museum strives to be a cultural space where visitors can experience the joy of culture.