The Chollima Statue
| North Korea
Travel Guide

The winged horse of the revolution!

The Chollima Statue

The Chollima Statue (천리마동상 | 千里馬銅像) is a monument on top of Mansu Hill next to the Mansudae Grand Monument — the large statues of North Korea's leaders in Pyongyang, North Korea. It is a statue of a winged mythical horse named ‘Chollima’, which symbolises the Stakhanovite 'Chollima Movement' which helped rebuild North Korea following the Korean War. Today the Chollima is synanomous with great speed and progress in the DPRK.

The Chollima Monument

The Chollima monument is 46 meters tall and made from bronze and granite. The Chollima sculpture alone is 14 meters high and 16 meters long. The Chollima statue features a winged-horse with two figures riding it. The two figures are a worker (7 meters) and a peasant (6.5 meters). The worker raises up the "Red Letter" (붉은 편지) of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea. The woman holds a sheaf of rice.

Chollima North Korea

The Chollima Statue is dedicated to the Chollima Movement (천리마운동 | 千里馬運動), a massive mobilisation aimed at rebuilding North Korea folowing the Korean War. President Kim Il Sung proclaimed the Chollima Movement in 1956 at the Kangson Steelworks near Nampo.

Let us dash forward in the spirit of Chollima!

— President Kim Il Sung

This slogan was used durning the Chollima movement to motivate the workers. It seemed to work pretty well, since the Koreans succeeded in rebuilding the country at an unprecedented speed. For an idea of the "Chollima Spirit", see the music video for the revolutionary song 'Chollima on the Wing' (천리마 달린다):

The Chollima Statue monument was unveiled on the 15 April 1961 to commemorate the 49th birthday of President Kim Il Sung.

Chollima remains a popular icon in North Korea amongst the Korean people.

The Legend of Chollima

The Chollima is originally based on a Chinese mythical horse said to be able to travel 1,000 ri (400 km) a day, a legend itself thought to be based on the Akhal-Teke horses of what is today Turkmenistan —a destination to which Koryo Tours run two tours a year! The Chollima also resembles Pegasus, the winged-horse of Greek mythology.

The Mallima Speed of today

The term ‘Mallima’ is relatively new in North Korea and is a modern adaptation of the old slogan. While ‘Chol’ refers to 1,000 (천 | 千 ), the term ‘Mal’ refers to 10,000 (萬 | 만 ) ri.

Therefore, ‘Mallima Speed’ refers to a new and developed idea of the Chollima horse, but runs much faster. That's 10x as fast as the original Chollima horse idea, 10,000 ri (3,900 km) per day.

To be riders and front-runners in the Mallima movement is the bounden duty and noble obligation of our generations who were born in the motherland of Juche and grew up learning the epic of the Chollima age.

— Rodong Sinmun

Practical Tips

*Most visitors to the Mansudae Grand Monument will take a few minutes to view the nearby Chollima Statue from Mansu Hill. It is also possible to walk from the Arch of Triumph, Moranbong Park, or Changjon Street to below the monument.

Anecdotes

* The Chollima statue was designed and built by the Mansudae Art Studio in Pyongyang, the DPRK's premier art studio.

The Chollima in statue and mural.

*A Koryo Tours group once encountered American punk rocker Henry Rollins below the Chollima Statue on a hot summer day.

* The Chollima is a common symbol in North Korea and can be found on posters, paintings, postcards, stamps, and any manner of media or products, including tractors and trucks. One of Pyongyang's two metro lines is called the 'Chollima Line'.

*The Chollima Football Team is the nickname of the DPRK's national team, particularly the legendary 1966 World Cup Team. The documentary The Game of Their Lives (2001), produced by Koryo Tours, revisits the 'Chollima Footballers' 1966 journey to the UK.

*Now usually we don't do this, but here's a little preview of remix of 'Chollima on the Wing' by the former Pochonbo Electronic Ensemble. Because the remix is always better!

You can pay a visit to the Chollima Statue on most of our trips to North Korea. What else can you see in North Korea? Download Koryo Tours' free 75-page guide to the country for a full list and follow the Koryo Tours Blog for in-depth descriptions.

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