The Mansudae Grand Monument is one of the most iconic spots in Pyongyang and features two enormous bronze statues of the former leaders, President Kim Il Sung and General Kim Jong Il,
The monument also includes a mural of Mt Paektu shown
behind them, which has deep symbolism attached to both leaders and Koreans in
general. The final elements to the monument are two large statue groups
featuring Koreans of all kinds, rising up to defeat the Japanese imperialists.
The original version of the statue only featured Kim Il Sung
and was unveiled in 1972. In 2012, a new version was unveiled after the passing
of General Kim Jong Il. Not only was Kim Jong Il added in a formal style long
coat, his father was given a brand new smiling visage. The statue has since
been updated again to show Kim Jong Il in his trademark parka, which he wore
constantly in his later life.
While most Koreans would hope to visit the statue at least
once in their lifetime, most Pyongyangites will visit several times a year, for
national holidays. Residents of Pyongyang will also visit the statues for
commemorative photos when they are married.
How tall are the
The bronze statues of the leaders stand 20 meters (66 feet)
Where is the Mandudae Grand Monument within Pyongyang?
The statues in Pyongyang stand atop a hill called Mansudae.
Behind the statues is the Korean Revolutionary Museum, with its iconic mural of
Can I take photographs of the Mansudae statues?
Yes, you can take photographs of the statues, but you need
to include the full view of both statues in every frame. If posing in front of
them you should be sure to keep a respectful pose with your arms at your sides.
Don’t make any gestures or strange poses and taking selfies is not permitted,
but smiling is allowed.
What are the do’s and don’ts for visiting the Mansudae Grand Monument?
Firstly it’s important to remember this is not a tourist
site- for Koreans it’s a very important place. As such you should behave with a
sense of respect. Smoking, chewing gum or being loud may cause trouble for you
and your local guides. Stay near the group and don’t sit down on the floor
before the statues.
Do I have to bow to the Mansudae statues?
If you do not wish to bow then this is entirely
understandable for your Korean guides. However you will have to remain on the
bus and skip the visit to the top of the hill. If you would like to present
flowers to the statues then you should go first to place these at the foot of
the statues before returning to bow with your group. While bowing, hats and
sunglasses should be removed and any jackets or coats should be zipped or
How can I visit the statues?
By joining us on one of our many tours to the DPRK!
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