The Tower of Juche Ideology was built in 1982 to commemorate the 70th birthday of President Kim Il Sung and sits prominently by the Taedong River. I was told by the local guide that the tower was built with 25,550 granite blocks, each representing a day in President Kim Il Sung’s life up until his 70th birthday.
This 170 meter stone tower was modeled after ancient Korean pagodas and its flame serves as a guiding light for the principle of the Juche ideology. It is this ideology that determines much of the policies and customs of the DPRK.
Most people head straight to the tower and miss out on the huge statues flanking the sides. You can see 3 statues on each side of the Juche Tower from the air.
At the base of the Juche Tower is a bronze statue of an intellectual, a worker, and a farmer; raising up a brush, hammer, and sickle respectively. This is a representation of the political party’s emblem and also refers to the 3 classes of the population. You can compare the size of the statues against the grandmother and child in the photo below. Can you see them?
At the entrance to the Juche Tower, you will find plaques donated by various Juche study groups and individuals. The local guide will enthusiastically point out the number of Juche supporters from around the world.
There is an observation platform with sweeping panoramic views that sits just below the tower’s iconic flame. The ticket to take the elevator up to that platform costs 5 euros.
Take a 360° virtual tour of the Tower of Juche Ideology at the link below. The image was captured during sunset, which is the most spectacular time to visit the tower.
The Juche tower is lit up with fireworks during the new year and also in celebration of President Kim Il Sung’s birthday, every 15th April. These two dates are perhaps the best days to photograph the tower.