Monument to Kirin Cave


The monument to the Kirin Cave was unearthed in 2012 on Moran Hill in Pyongyang. Kirin, or unicorn, is an imaginary animal known from ancient times in Northeast Asia. The name kirin is combination of ki meaning male and rin female. In general, kirin denotes a sage or a genius.

The two-tiered monument consists of a stone inscribed with “Kirin Cave” in Chinese characters and a pedestal stone which was made in later years. The monument was found split into two, which is the result of age-old weathering.

The Korean classics, Chronicles of Koryo and Sejong Sillok (Chronicles of King Sejong), published in the 15th century have the records that there had long existed a monument related to the Kirin Cave on Moran Hill in Pyongyang. It is believed that Koguryo people erected monumental structures related to King Tongmyong on Moran Hill when they moved the capital from the Walled City of Pyongyang based in the Taesongsan Fort and the Anhak Palace to Inner Walled City of Pyongyang in 586. They built the new capital in a such way as to arouse worship and reverence for King Tongmyong and display the might of Koguryo.

Koryo (918–1392), the state succeeding to Koguryo, preserved and handed down those relics through generations.

The discovery of the Kirin Cave showed that Koguryo played a leading role in the development of the Korean history, and that Pyongyang, the capital of Ancient Joson (early 30th century BC–108 BC) and Koguryo, was historically the central base of the birth and development of the Taedonggang culture.





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