Located in Haeson-ri, Kaesong city, the Mausoleum of King Kyonghyo consists of the tomb of the 31st king of Koryo (918–1392) and the tomb of his wife. The mausoleum was built from 1365 to 1372 under the supervision of the king himself.
The mausoleum is distinct from others in that it is situated in a unique place. The city has lots of tombs of Koryo’s successive kings and queens and their families. In particular there are over 20 similar tombs north of Mt. Songak and south of Mt. Mansu. The Mausoleum of King Kyonghyo lies on one side of Muson Hill, the western tip from those tombs. The east, west and north sides of the mausoleum are surrounded by a mountain except for the south side. Its vicinity is well known for its scenic beauty.
The mausoleum is also characterized by original structure and large scale. It has three long oblong terraces lying lengthwise from east to west, and below them there is a wide sloping terrace. On the sloping terrace (23 m in length and 10 m in vertical height) there are embankments at intervals to prevent soil from sliding. The first and second terraces have four stone statues of civil officers and four stone statues of military officers. On the highest terrace lie the two tombs. The grave mounds are about 6.5 metres high and 13.7 metres in diagonal diameter.
The statues testify to the extent to which the stone carving technique of Koryo developed. Especially, those of civil and military officers are appreciated as the most excellent among the old stone sculptures that still remain in Korea for their size and workmanship. Another distinctive feature of the mausoleum is that murals of the tombs still remain unfaded. The tomb of the king is a single chamber tomb with a passage, and murals are painted on the eastern, western and northern walls and the ceiling of the chamber. Murals painted on the walls are those of 12 spirits of the terrain. They are based on different colours such as red, yellow, blue, white, dark-red, dark-brown, brown and black.
The tomb style of the mausoleum is representative of tombs in the late period of Koryo and was maintained in the period of the feudal Joson dynasty. From 1905 the Japanese imperialists dug up the mausoleum many times and took away all relics from it. Though it is the tomb of a feudal king, it is a valuable legacy showing the relevant ability of the Korean ancestors in the period of Koryo. On June 23, 2013 the mausoleum was registered in the UNESCO list of world cultural heritage.