Deoksugung Palace, Seoul
It is only about 10mins walk from Fraser Place Central Seoul but if you are coming by subway, just alight at City Hall station, exit no. 2 or 3. It is right outside the exit, so there is no way you will miss it. Is one of interesting palace in Seoul, the architectural structure appearing in a mix of Asian, European historical site. For its elegant stone wall road. Also both Korean traditional palace style and western style buildings are all shown in the structures of the palace.
I believe there are five places in Seoul and Deoksugung is one of it. The Palace was destroyed from foreign diplomats and missionaries during the early 20th century. As a result, less than one third of Deoksugung is left standing today. Most of its buildings have different building materials and architectural styles, the fusion of east and west in one compound is interesting to see together
As with many other palaces, there is also the daily changing of the guards (except Mon) at 11am, 2pm and 3pm. This happens right outside the palace gate. There is an entrance fee of 1,000KRW
Deoksugung palace or 덕수궁 located in the centre of Seoul, not far from main royal palace Gyeongbokgung. But also Gyeonghuigung palace is near.
Entrance fee is 1,000 Won and the palace is opened from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Also you can see the change of the toyal guards daily at 11 a.m. , 2 p.m. , 3.30 p.m.
Deoksugung was built during the mid-1400s and became a prince Wolsan residence. But now every single person can visit this place :-)
Palace area is not too big but beautiful. You can see the palace, former living houses... Of course Gyeongbokgung palace is the biggest one and you should firstly visit it, but Deoksugung palace area is quite and adorable so I also recommend you to visit it :-)
We visited here on our first trip to Seoul. It is right in the centre of the city. Some of the palace buildings are traditional Korean, others are European. Deoksugung Palace originally belonged to Wolsandaegun (1454~1488), the older brother of King Seongjong (1469~1494) of the Joseon Dynasty.
On passing through the main palace gate visitors will cross a stone bridge.
During the Japanese invasion of 1592, all other palace buildings were destroyed by fire so King Seonjo (1567-1608) established a temporary residence here. King Gwanghaegun (1608-1623), his succesor, named the palace Gyeongungung in 1611.
Deoksugung Palace is the only palace in Seoul that also contains western style buildings. Seokjojeon is one of the western-style buildings that remain in Deoksugung. It was built by a British man. Then in 1905 the property rights of this building were transferred to Japan. This building was completed in 1910. At one time Seokjojeon was a Japanese art gallery open to the public. When Korea became independent, the American-Russian joint commission was held here in May 1946. The east wing of Seokjogwan building now houses a Palace Treasure exhibition, and the west wing is part of the National Modern Arts Center.
Opening Hours: Closed every Monday.
Open from 09:00 – 21:00
How to get to Deoksugung Palace:
Take line one to City Hall Station and leave exit 2.
Or take line two to City Hall Station and leave exit 12.
This palace is surrounded by tall and modern buildings. The grounds are much smaller (compared to Gyeongbokgung) but there are still lots of interesting things to see here.
The main throne hall is Junghwaheon, a building with a single-tier roof structure. The main gate (Daehanmun) was rebuilt in 1906.
Seokjojoen is a western-style building that is made of stone. It was built as part of the Great Han Empire's push for modernization. There is also a wester-style garden and fountain in front of this building. This is unlike traditional Korean architecture, where a garden should be located to the rear of a building. The fountain is also contrary to the Korean traditional belief that water should flow down from above (and not spout from the ground).
Admission costs KRW 1,000 per adult. Closed on Mondays.
Deoksugung Palace served as the main palace of the Great Han Empire.
Be sure to catch the Royal Changing of the Guards Ceremony being held at the Daehanmun Gate. Schedule is 11:00, 14:00 and 15:30. This is held outsiide the gate so it's free.
The palace opens at 9 am and closes at 9 pm. It is CLOSED on Mondays.
Admission Fee is KRW 1,000 for adults and KRW 500 for children
But if you plan to visit all the major palaces, better avail of the Combination Ticket for Palaces.
The Gyeongbokgung Palace is a BIG place to walk around but if you wish to see something small-scale then Deoksugung is an alternative. It's also closer to restaurants and a subway stop if these things matter. What's more, I've seen the Changing of the Guards ceremony both here and at Gyeongbokgung and the one here looks more elaborate with more participants (see photos).
One important note: at either palace, it is NOT necessary to purchase an admission ticket to watch the Guard Changing ceremony as it takes place just outside the entrance gate.
Open from Tues - Sun. from 9 am - 9 pm. Admission for adults: 1,000 won
Located in the west wing of Seokjojeon in Deoksugung Palace, which was built in 1938 as the first exhibition room for modern art objects in Korea, Deoksugung Palace Art Museum is a branch of the National Museum of Contemporary Art, specializing in exhibits of Korean contemporary art objects.
Located at the rear of the Deoksugung compound, in the Seokjojeon area, is a couple of more modern buildings housing art galleries.
Entrance is included with your admission to Deoksugung. At the time I visited, they were showing art made by Koreans during the Japanese invasion.
The Deoksugung area was originally land and buildings held by decendants of the royal family.
When all of the palaces in Seoul were destroyed by fire during the Japanese invasion of 1592, King Seonjo used these residential buildings as a temporary palace. They served as palace untill 1611, when King Gwanghaegun moved to Changdeokgung palace.
Palace grounds were made a park in 1933.
Smaller than the 3 main palaces, this palace near city hall was the last actively used palace where King Gojong died in 1919. It was originally built in 1593 and was updated with modern buildings in 1895. It's the only palace with a mixture of traditional Korean and western buildings.
Deoksugung Palace is not the most spectacular palace in Seoul, but it's home of Deoksugung Art Museum as well. Also they have some special exhibitions in the Seokjojeon.
1'000 Won (Half price for Kids and Teens from 7 to 18 yrs)
9am to 9pm
Closed on Mondays
Admission is available until an hour before closing
Free Guiding Service:
English: 10.30am (Tuesday to Friday), 1.40pm (Saturday, Sunday)
Japanese and Chinese are also available
Located in downtown Seoul across the street from City Hall, Deoksu Palace vividly contrasts modern Seoul with traditional Korea. Built during the mid-fifteenth century, it is the smallest of Seoul's palaces. The palace contains many scenic areas and is a favorite among wedding photographers (who can overrun the area on weekdays!). Many local business men and women use the picnic area during lunch as a short escape from the hustle and bustle of downtown life.
In 1593, after all the royal palaces had been burnt down during the 1592 Japanese invasion, King Sonjo took up temporary residence in a villa which had been built for prince Wolsan (1454-1488). The ruler, King Kwangaegun, named the temporary residence Kyongun-gung. In 1897, King Kojong expanded the palace to make it suitable as the seat of government. King Sunjong later stayed here, renaming it Deoksu-gung (Palace of Virtuous Longevity). This palace includes some of the best examples of royal architecture of the Chosun Dynasty (1392-1910) and has been designated as Historic Site #124 by the central government for preservation and protection. Sokchon-jeon Hall now houses the Royal Museum.
Deoksugung Palace is famous for its elegant stone-wall road and It is the only one of all the palaces in Seoul that has western buildings beside it, and it adds to the uniqueness of the scenery. Built during the mid-fifteenth century, it is the smallest of Seoul's palaces. The palace contains many scenic areas and is a favorite among wedding photographers (who can overrun the area on weekdays!). Many local business men and women use the picnic area during lunch as a short escape from the hustle and bustle of downtown life.
The Royal Guard-Changing Ceremony is a highly recommended event for tourists. It is held three times a day in front of Daehanmun Gate at Deoksugung Palace from 10:30am to 11:00am in the morning, from 14:00 to 14:30 and from 15:00 to 15:30 in the afternoon. As each ceremony follows the same procedure and lasts for thirty minutes, visitors can choose whichever time is most convenient. The ceremony is free of charge. There are no ceremonies on Mondays as well as on severely cold or hot days.
Mar. ~ Oct. - 09:00 ~ 17:00 (Saturdays, Sundays until 18:00)
Nov. ~ Feb. - 09:00 ~ 16:30
Adults (19 to 64 years old): 1,000 won (groups: 800 won)
Children (7 to 18 years old) and soldiers: 500 won (groups: 400 won)
* Children 6 and under, seniors 65 and over: Free
This palace is bang in the centre of town, surrounded by modern buildings and office blocks, and contains in its grounds the National Museum of Contemporary Art, housed in the West Wing of Seokjojeon, and part of the Royal Museum.
Deoksugung (덕수궁) Palace is across the street from Seoul City Hall and the recently reconstructed Seoul Plaza. It is one of the smaller palaces, but popular due to its location next to City Hall Subway Station. The least impressive features of Deoksugung are the two modern museums in the back of the palace, called Seokjojeon, which really take away from its ambiance.
Deoksugung was built in the 1400s for King Seongjong's brother Prince Wolsandaegun. King Seonjo made this palace his permanent residence in 1592. King Injo later moved his residence to Changdeokgung, leaving Deoksugung vacant for the next 200 years. In 1897, this palace again became the primary royal residence when King Gojong moved in.
You enter the palace through the main gate called Daehanmun, and straight ahead is the Geumcheongyo bridge. Further in from the gate in a straight path is the huge bronze statue of King Sejong, and just beyond him is Junghwajeon the main hall of palace. Behind the palace are the modern museum building of Seoul while to the right of the Sejong statue are several buildings from the King Gojong era in the early 1900s.
Outside of the palace, there is a man who makes signs carved from wood. The signs themselves are impressive, but even more so considering the man has only one hand.
Here is a photo outside of Deoksugung in the fall.