The structural properties of GaN epitaxial layers grown on patterned sapphire substrates by MOCVD have been investigated using HRXRD(high-resolution X-ray diffraction), GIXRD(grazing incidence X-ray diffraction) and PL(photoluminescence). For X-ray characterizations rocking curves for GaN (10·5), (00·2), (11·4) and (11·0) reflections for which incidence angles of X-rays are 32.0°, 17.3°, 11.0° and 0.34°, respectively, were measured. For (10·5), (00·2) and (11·4) reflections FWHMs of the rocking curves for a patterned substrate were broader than those for a unpatterned substrate, for (11·0) reflection, however, FWHM for a patterned substrate was much narrower than that for a unpatterned substrate. The normalized FWHM for all reflections decreases as the incidence angle of X-ray decreases. The results indicate that the crystalline quality in the surface region of the epilayer on a patterned substrate was especially improved because the penetration depth of X-ray depends on the incidence angle. The intensity of PL peak of the epilayer for a patterned substrate increased compared to that for a unpatterned substrate, and the increase in PL intensity is attributed to the reduction in dislocation density at the surface region revealed the by X-ray results.