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Korean Palaces

Event date: 2013-08-14

Korean Palaces, the heart of old city

Korea's precious architecture heritage which connects the past and present

Palace is the place where king works and live. In Seoul, which is capital of Korea and was called Han Yang before, there are 5 palaces. Gyeongbok Palace, Changdeok Palace, Deaosu Palace, Gyeonghui Palace, Changgyeong Palace. And each palaces have their own characteristics so it will be a great experience for you to visit those palaces.

Gyeongbok Palace : the Best palace in Chosun Dynasty

 Gyeongbok palace is the best palace of remaining 5 palaces in Seoul. Gyeoungbok means that new dynasty will bring good luck and prosper for long time. It was the center of Chosun dynasty, it's scale is different from others. The length of the wall is 2404m in total, and it has 4 main gates compared to other palaces. And it has administrative offices where king and government official administer the affairs of state, Jung Gung (where queen stayed), Dong Gung (where crown prince stayed), Nae Jeon (where court lady stayed), etc.

Gyeongbok palace built completely 1395, when 3 years after Chosun dynasty started. It was rebuilded, expended for several times, and burned entirely because of the Japanese invasion of Korea in 1592. There was no restoration work for 270 years and in 1867, regent Heungseon Daewongun tried to rebuild it, but unfortunately, the palace ruined again during the Japanese colonial era. The Gyeongbok palace today, is the result of hard work to rebuild and protect our cultural heritage from 1990. It has been with Koreans even though there were so many national tragedies, the palace still has the history of Seoul and Chosun dynasty.

-> Traveling tip

Gyeongbok palace is so huge, if you want to see all of it, you need to take 2-3 hours at least. You can also find english map at the entrance. The main gate's name is Gwanghwamun. And there's changing of the Guards ceremony in front of it. You should not miss it.

* Every Tuesday the palace is closed.

* There's free english/japanese/chinese tour

*to get more detailed information : royalpalace.go.kr

Deoksu Palace : Harmony of Korean and Western Culture

Unlike other palaces that are placed in front of mountain, Deoksu Palace is placed in the middle of downtown. Also, it's the only palace in Seoul which close at night. And it's night sight is really beautiful. Inside the palace, there are lots of interesting places like Deoksu Museum, King's library, Junggwanhun (where emperor Gojong used to drink coffee and had banquet).

Deoksu palace was actually a house of king Seongjung's brother. It became a palace where king Seonjung stays after all palaces were burned because of Japanese invasion of Korea. After that, king Gwanghae named it Gyungown palace, it became detached palace of Chosun dynasty. After 1900, western style buildings were added and became a palace which tradition and modern makes harmony. The size of palace get small because of Japanese colonial era, and changed the name to Deoksu palace. The park inside the palace which was made to share with people became student's field trip place and the place where people get peace.

* opens 9:00 ~ 21:00

* to get more information : deoksugung.go.kr

Changdeok Palace : with nature

If Gyungbok palace shows us the majesty of king's dignity, in Changdeok palace you can feel like you are in nature. You can feel cozy and friendly inside. It was built in 1405, and it's the best palace which shows the very Korean. It was build not to be so artificial, but to assimilate with nature. If you walk inside the palace, you can feel like you are walking in the oriental painting.

Whowon is the highlight of Changdeok palace. There are beautiful summerhouse inside valley. To preserve the nature, only people who made a reservation can get inside.

* for more information : www,cdg.go.kr

Changgyeong Palace : the Last word of King's life

To extend Changdeok palace's place, Changgyeong palace was made. So two palaces were used as one palace without boarder before, and that was called Donggwal. Changgyeong palace is charming and simple. Because lots of royal families lived here, many historic events happened here like Heebin Jang story. This palace also degraded to park which was for amusement because of the Japanese colonial era.

-> Traveling tip

* there's 100 year old great glasshouse inside the palace

Gyunghui Palace : trace of Royal family

It's small palace compared to other palaces. Only a few buildings and the building sites are left. It was build in 1623. Gyunghui palace was actually a place for king Injo's father, but because one psychic said that a royal standard was clouded in that place, king Gwanghae believed it and took the place and made to a palace.

Before there was a big fire in 1829, the palace had 1500 rooms. And it lost it's vestige of palace because Japanese used this place as a school in colonial era. After this, buildings in palace forced removal and became smaller.

-> Traveling tip

* You can follow a trail if you walk stairs where's at right of Gyunghui palace. You can see Namsan tower, a path through a forest.

* for more information: 02-731-0531 

 

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