Kumsusan Palace of the Sun
The mausoleum where the bodies of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il lie in state. It is a grand, sprawling complex surrounded by a large square and a moat. Visitors see the bodies of North Korea’s former leaders and tour exhibition halls displaying their possessions. On display are also the train carriages and a boat used to the tour the country on “on-the-spot-guidance” visits.
- You are asked to dress smart for this visit. No jeans or open footwear.
- When you enter you will have to leave behind your electronic devices at the counter. Photos are not permitted inside.
- Do not be surprised to see Koreans grieving here. Note that this is regarded as a sacred and solemn place.
- You will be asked to bow to a pair of statues of the Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, and their bodies, let us know in advance if this makes you feel uncomfortable.
- The plaza outside is a good place to take a souvenir photo. Often, the locals will be happy to snap a shot with you here.
- When entering, you will go through special machines that clean your shoes and blow dust off your body, before going to long travelators to the main building.
Best times to visit
- Open to foreign tourists on Sundays. Undergoes maintenance for several months in the year.
First built in 1976, it served as Kim Il Sung’s official residence. Following Kim Il Sung’s death in 1994, it was converted into a mausoleum for him. After Kim Jong Il passed away in December 2011, his remains were also moved here and embalmed.
- Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il’s bodies are embalmed according to the techniques used for Lenin, Ho Chi Minh and Mao Zedong.
- In Kim Jong Il’s train carriage you can see that he used an Apple MacBook Pro.
- The display halls contain a lot of interesting memorabilia. Honourary degrees and titles from all over the world as well as medals from domestic and international groups, such as a medal commemorating victory over Japan in World War II granted by the Soviet Union.
- The Palace is considered a national icon.
- Wikipedia article on Kumsusan Palace of the Sun:
Revolutionary, Monument, Architecture