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Gyeongbokgung Palace

Gyeongbokgung was the main palace during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). One of five palaces in Seoul, it has a 500 year history. It was built by the founding King of Joseon dynasty, Lee Seong-Gye, in 1395 as he moved the capital city from Gyeseong to Seoul. Located in the northern part of Seoul, it is sometimes called “Bukgwol.”
Gyeongbokgung is 5.4 million square feet and rectangular in shape. On the south side is the main gate Gwanghwamun. To the north, Sinmumun, east, Yeongchumun, and west, Geonchunmun. In the palace are the Jeongak buildings such as Geunjeongjeon, Gyotaejeon, Jagyeongjeon, Gyeonghoeru, and Hyangwonjeong. Geunjeongjeon, the main hall, was where inquiries and morning sessions were held. In the front courtyard, three granite walkways are present. The slightly more elevated middle walkway was for the King. The ones on the side were for his court. In the yard, Pumgyeseoks stand on each side. Jagyeongjeon and Gyotaejeon were the King’s mother and Queen’s sleeping quarters. Jagyeongjeon is famous for it’s flower wall and Sipjangsaeng guldduk (chimney). The guldduk is recognized as the most beautiful made in Joseon period, and is listed as National Treasure no. 810. Gyotaejeon was the Queen’s personal living area, and the wall and the rear entrance overlooking Amisan Mountain are particularly eye-catching.
What adds to the elegance of Gyeongbokgung is its lotus pond. Gyeonghoeru and Hwangwonjeoung. Gyeonghoeru was where foreign dignitaries met and special festivals were held when good events occurred in the nation. Hwangwonjeong is behind the sleeping quarters, and is in the back courtyard. It also has a lotus pond, but has a distinct feminine feel to it compared to Gyeonghoeru’s. Its architecture makes great use of the surrounding Amisan’s geography, and the area blends in beautifully, a great example of traditional Korean palatial structure. There is also the library, sujeongjeon, and the King’s work quarters, Sajeongjeon.
There are many designated Cultural Assets in the Palace. Many of these were collected from all over the nation, such as Gyeongcheonsa’s 10-story stone tower (No. 86), Beomcheonsa’s Jigwangguksa-Hyeonmo tower (No.101), and Borugak’s Automatic Clock and Heumgyeonggak’s Water Clock and Cheonsang Clock.
In 1910, when the Korea-Japan Treaty was signed, Japan tore down all the Jeongak buildings in the south area and built their Command Center on the spot. The Japanese building has now been dismantled and the palace is in the process of being restored. The above text was taken from here.

 

 

 

 

 

Changgyeong Palace

throne

was originally built in 1104 as a summer palace for the kings of the Koryo Dynasty. When the capital was moved to Seoul in 1392, the King lived here during the construction of the new palace (Gyeongbok). Unlike Chosun Dynasty palaces that have a north-south orientation, Changgyeong Palace has an east-west orientation, like many buildings of the Koryo period. Most of the buildings were burned in 1592, although most have been rebuilt at least once since then.

 

Honghwamun The only remaining gate is Honghwamun (National Treasure #384) to the east. Built in 1484, like most of the buildings on the Palace grounds, it was destroyed during the 1592 Japanese invasion, but rebuilt in 1616. It is similar to Tonhwamun gate in Changdeok Palace, but has higher pillars.

Myongjeongmun Inside Honghwamun is Myongjeongmun gate and corridors (National Treasure #385) surrounding Myongjeongjeon, the main throne room. Burned down in 1592, it was rebuilt in 1616, only to be destroyed again during the Japanese occupation. It was finally restored in 1986.

Myongjeongjeon The main hall is Myongjeongjeon, built in 1484. In the courtyard, 2 rows of stone markers indicate the positions for attending officials to stand according to a strict hierarchy. The phoenixes on the steps represent nobility and immortality. Like the other Palace buildings, it was burned down in 1592 then rebuilt in 1616.

overpass At the southern part of the grounds is an overpass to Chongmyo Shrine. Although the two were originally connected, during the Japanese occupation, Yulgong-no road was built between the them as a symbolic split. (The overpass opens at 9:00 and closes one hour prior to closing of the Palace.)

Hours:
Summer Weekdays - 09:00 ~ 18:00
Winter Weekdays - 09:00 ~ 17:30
Saturdays and Sundays - 09:00 ~ 19:00
Closed: Every Tuesday

Admission:
Adults (19 to 64 years old): 1,000 won (groups: 800)
Children (7 to 18 years old): 500 won (groups: 400)
* Children 6 and under, seniors 65 and over: Free

Directions: Subway line 4, Hyehwa Station, exit 4, 10 minutes walking

The above description was taken from here.

 

 

 

 

 

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This page was last updated on Sunday March 26, 2006