Mansudae Grand Monument

The Mansudae Grand Monument is an iconic memorial notable for its bronze statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. The statues stand at 22 meters tall, well beyond the actual height of the leaders. North Korea’s past leadership continues to command Pyongyang well beyond their resting places and they remain omnipresent to the North Korean People.  Built in April of 1972 to celebrate to 60th birthday of Kim Il Sung. Renovations have occurred since the original construction of the monument. Originally Kim Il Sung was the only statue but after Kim Jong Il passed, a similar tribute statue to him was raised.  Kim Jong Il’s clothes have been changed to his signature parka and Kim Il Sung’s facial expression as well, along with the former gold leaf covering into a more humble bronze.  Regardless of alterations, this is a sacred site that men, women, and children, come from all around the DPRK to lay flowers and bow to their leaders. Photos are permitted at the site but all activities must be done with respect to the Kim family. All pictures of the leaders must frame the entire statute, and bowing is a requirement.  The area that houses these leaders has a few other notable monuments.  50 meter long tributes to the Anti-Japanese struggle and the socialist reconstruction of the country flank both sides of the main attraction. Each of these tributes showcases a total of over 200 unique Korean people during the struggle and reconstruction. Behind the monuments lies the mosaic backdrop of Mt. Paektu, the sacred mountain that birthed the first Koreans. The area is currently under renovations, it is unknown what is being added at this moment.