Cheomseongdae

Cheomseongdae
A National Treasure of Korea, this ancient astronomical observatory, in the shape of a big bottle, is the oldest one of its kind in East Asia.

Cheomseongdae, which literally means “reverently regarding the stars platform” in Korean, takes us back to the early days of science in South Korea’s former Silla capital. Learn how astronomy was used in agriculture, religion and urban planning in South Korea, or simply come here to enjoy the vistas. The tower is surrounded by the green burial mounds that are known as “tumuli,”which are iconic for Gyeongju.

Walk around Cheomseongdae to see that the tower’s granite brickwork is still largely intact. That is impressive because this 30-foot (9-meter) tall tower dates all the way back to the 7th century.

If you stand at its southern end and look up, you can see an opening. This window was either used for studying the heavens above or worshipping, depending on who you ask.

Because the tower has a high-set window and its missing top platform may have once supported a sundial, most historians believe that the Cheomseongdae Royal Observatory was an astronomical tower. What supports this theory is that there are as many bricks as the days in a year and that there are 12 layers above and under the window, one for each lunar cycle.

It's also very possible that Cheomseongdae was a place of worship, dedicated to the Mesopotamian goddess Ishtar. Queen Seondeok, who ruled the Silla Dynasty between A.D. 632 and 647, revered Ishtar. Some point out that the tower’s shape depicts the female curves of Queen Seondeok herself. Queen Seondeok was the 27th monarch and you may have noticed that the tower happens to have 27 levels.

Come back at night to see Cheomseongdae when it is illuminated. The tower is surrounded by a low fence, so stargazing is not an option. Take a seat on a nearby bench instead and let your mind wander back to the time when both Buddhism and science were on the rise.

You can find Cheomseongdae in Inwang-dong, a district of Gyeongju. There is a small access fee to the national historic park where the observatory stands. The site is close to the Anapji pond, which is one of the city’s main tourist attractions and an even more atmospheric place to visit at night.

Top 10 Hotels Near Cheomseongdae

141 Mini Hotel
141 Mini Hotel
3 out of 5
141 Wonhyo-ro, Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang
The price is S$64 per night from 6 Dec to 7 Dec
S$64
per night
6 Dec - 7 Dec
Stay at this 3-star business-friendly hotel in Gyeongju. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking and breakfast. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the convenient ...
4.6/5 Wonderful! (536 reviews)
Nice boutique hotel close to main sights
"A very nice boutique hotel in the center of town, close to the main historical sights and the food and drink places. Hotel is immaculately clean and well organised. Korean rooms snd beds are fine for westerners to use."

Reviewed on 23 Sep,2022

141 Mini Hotel
Gyeongju GG Tourist Hotel
Gyeongju GG Tourist Hotel
3 out of 5
3, Taejong-ro 699beon-gil, Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang, 780-932
The price is S$105 per night from 2 Jan to 3 Jan
S$105
per night
2 Jan - 3 Jan
Stay at this 3-star business-friendly hotel in Gyeongju. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking and breakfast. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the spacious rooms ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (911 reviews)
"Staff was friendly, room was clean, bathroom very spacious and clean. Can be a bit noisy."

Reviewed on 23 Nov,2022

Gyeongju GG Tourist Hotel
Soi Hanok Stay
Soi Hanok Stay
2.5 out of 5
22-6, Cheomseong-ro 81beon-gil, Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do, 38166
The price is S$274 per night from 7 Dec to 8 Dec
S$274
per night
7 Dec - 8 Dec
Stay at this guesthouse in Gyeongju. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking and a terrace. Popular attractions Hwangnidan-gil Road and Cheomseongdae are located nearby. ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (53 reviews)
"Staying at Soi Hanok was a highlight of our trip to Gyeongju. Great location, and great ambiance."

Reviewed on 28 Nov,2022

Soi Hanok Stay
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit


Top Cheomseongdae Hotel Deals

141 Mini Hotel
141 Mini Hotel
3 out of 5
141 Wonhyo-ro, Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang
141 Mini Hotel
Gyeongju GG Tourist Hotel
Gyeongju GG Tourist Hotel
3 out of 5
3, Taejong-ro 699beon-gil, Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang, 780-932
Gyeongju GG Tourist Hotel
Soi Hanok Stay
Soi Hanok Stay
2.5 out of 5
22-6, Cheomseong-ro 81beon-gil, Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do, 38166
Soi Hanok Stay
Wiyeonjae Hanok Stay
Wiyeonjae Hanok Stay
2.5 out of 5
7, Jjoksaem-gil, Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang, 38164
Wiyeonjae Hanok Stay
Hwang Nam Guan
Hwang Nam Guan
3 out of 5
1038, Poseok-ro, Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang, 780-080
Hwang Nam Guan
Gyeongju Ran Hanok
Gyeongju Ran Hanok
3 out of 5
12-7, Gukdang 2-gil, Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang, 38169
Gyeongju Ran Hanok
Namuae
Namuae
2.5 out of 5
25, Poseok-ro 1068beon-gil, Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang, 38166
Namuae
Happy Village Syeobul Guesthouse
Happy Village Syeobul Guesthouse
2 out of 5
26-1, Poseok-ro 1092beon-gil, Gyeongju, 780-080
Happy Village Syeobul Guesthouse
Gyeongju Wadamjung Hanok Pension
Gyeongju Wadamjung Hanok Pension
2.5 out of 5
16-1, Cheonwon 1-gil, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang, 38172
Gyeongju Wadamjung Hanok Pension
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.