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 Kings mother and Queens sleeping quarters. Jakyeongjeon is famous for its 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 Queens 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 Hyangwonjeoung. 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 Gyeonghoerus. Its architecture makes great use of the surrounding Amisans geography, and the area blends in beautifully, a great example of traditional Korean palatial structure. There is also the library, sujeongjeon, and the Kings work quarters, Sajeongjeon.
There are many designated Cultural Assets in the Palace. Many of these were collected from all over the nation, such as Gyeongcheonsas 10-story stone tower (No. 86), Beomcheonsas Jigwangguksa-Hyeonmo tower (No.101), and Borugaks Automatic Clock and Heumgyeonggaks 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.
1. From exit 5 of Gyeongbokgung station (Seoul Subway Line 3), walk 5 min.
2. From exit 2 of Ganghwamun Station (Seoul Subway Line 5), walk 5 min.
6 or under are free.
* Groups are more than 30 persons (age 19-)
/ more than 10 persons (7-18). 6. Free Tour Guide: In
front of information center, Hongryemun Gate (main gate)
English: 9:30, 12:00, 14:00, 15:00
* Japanese: 10:00, 12:30,
* Chinese: 11:00, 13:00, 14:30
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