Hello everyone! Well the weather is becoming colder now, and I am okay with that. I was very lucky to have warm, beautiful weather for the whole first month I was here and it is now time to get into the Autumn spirit.
Back in September, I purchased a bunch of postcards to send out to friends and family. On many of these postcards was a picture of a palace in the middle of skyscrapers and long lines of traffic. I was amazed that a big city like Seoul, was constructed around this place and that it was not that far away from my house. In fact it has its own subway stop and so it was extremely easy and inexpensive to get to.
From Bupyeong-gu Office I took Line 7 to Onsu, where I transferred to Incheon Line 1 to Jongno where I transferred to Line 3. On Line 3 you get off at Gyeongbokgung and the palace it literally right there.
Gyeongbokgung Palace costs only 3,000 won (so about $3) to tour and it is truly amazing, especially if you have never really experienced ancient Korean architecture before.
The construction of the main palace was completed in 1395 during the Joseon Dynasty and the name translates to "the Palace Greatly Blessed by Heaven".
In 1592 the Japanese invaded Korea and the palace was razed and mostly torn down and so the palace was left uninhabited for almost 270 years.
In 1867 the Prince Regent decided to reconstruct the palace incorporating ancient Chinese architecture and traditional details of the Joseon Dynasty. While this reconstruction differed vastly from the original, it too was torn down during the Japanese occupation.
In 1990, a new reconstruction period began, this time building the different structures as true to their original state as possible.
There is so much to see on the palace grounds and under Gwanghwamun Gate there is the traditional changing of the guards ceremony.
This is definitely a must see place to go if you visit Seoul. I love the vibrant colours on the ceilings and roofs of the structures and it is really fascinating to me to walk on the ground that has so much history, a history that I am still learning about.
Also at the site, there is a museum which presents more artifacts and knowledge about the history of the ancient Korean dynasty and history under Japanese rule. In one of the classes that I teach, I actually learned that Korea was under Japanese occupation until the end of World War Two, which really surprised me, because it is not something I ever learned about before.
Let me know if you ever had the chance to see this palace and if you have any other recommendations of where to visit!
Labels: Culture, Gyeongbokgung Palace, History, Palace, Royal History, South Korea, Travel