Oreung (五陵), literally five royal tombs or mounds, Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbukdo Province
Photo by Seyun Oh
According to legend all the mounds of Oreung belong to King Bak Hyeokgeose (박혁거세), the founder of the Silla kingdom. Samguk Yusa or Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms (삼국유사) has it that King Hyeokgeose ascended to heaven after ruling for 61 years.
Seventeen days later, his dead body fell down to earth from heaven, scattered in five pieces, upon which Alyeong, his queen concubine died.
As the people attempted to bury the five pieces of the king's body in a tomb, along with the deceased queen, a large snake appeared and prevented them from doing so. Hindered by the snake, the people had to bury the royal remains in five separate mounds, hence the name “Sareung” (蛇陵), meaning “Serpent Tombs.”
However, actually Oreung consists of 6 mounds because one of them is twin-mounded.