Korea's Religious Places - 2.3.1 Gangneung Hyanggyo (Gangneung, Gangwon-do)
Gangneung Hyanggyo (Gangneung, Gangwon-do)
One of the finest examples of a hyanggyo is the Gangneung Hyanggyo in the east coast city Gangneung. This hyanggyo is one of the older and larger of the county schools, arranged in the typical layout with the school in the front and the shrine in the back. It was believed to have been built in the late Goryeo period, in 1313. It burned down in 1411, but was promptly rebuilt. It was a classic hyanggyo, training young scholars from the area throughout the Joseon period. At the close of the Joseon Dynasty, in 1909, it was used as a school for a modern, Westernized curriculum, but closed when the Japanese took over and was transformed into training center for silk farmers. Fortunately, the buildings survived, have been well-kept, and are a magnificent symbol of traditional education in Korea.