Deoksugung Palace, Seoul
I popped into this place as it was just adjacent to the hotel which I was staying in. Yes, I looked out the window from Koreana HOtel one morning and saw a beautiful cherry tree in full bloom. I went down to take a look and was surprised to find a small palace there.
Apart from the beautiful rows of cherry trees. there was a musuem, a gigantic bell and the statue of King Sejong and some colourful royal guards. Go to this place only after you have seen the bigger Gyeongbokgung and beautiful Changdeokgung.
I have visited two of the five royal palaces, Toksugung and Kyongbokkung. Both offered the same, a spacious, quiet park and a lot of wonderful traditional Korean buildings. I think it is a great place for still-life photographers. Kyongbokkung has a couple of hills/mountains around which make a nice scenery.
Picture: Kyongbokkung Palace
Deoksu Palace contains a plethora of different halls and buildings. The one in the picture is one I like. Its called Sogodang Hall.
Sogodang Hall is the only two-story building on the palace grounds. It was built by King Sonjo in 1593 to commemorate the Chosun King before him. His widow, the Dowager Queen Inmok led a tragic life confirmed in this building. Destroyed by fire in 1904, Sogodang was rebuilt later the same year. The first floor is 8 kan across the front and 3 kan on the sides. The second floor, which is made of wood, is 6 kan and has a hipped and gabled roof.
Free of danch'eong* colouring, it has an austere elegance. In 1592, King Sonjo took refuge in Uiju on the Yalu River. He returned to Seoul in 1593, but because every palace lay in ruins, the residence of (Prince) Wolsan-Daegun became his temporary royal abode. Later the building was replaced with Sogodang. Inmok-taebi (the Queen Doweger) was put under house arrest here, and King Kwanghaegun was severely reprimanded by King Injo for his wicked deeds. The present Sogodang is a plain, well-built building that was reconstructed in 1906. Stairs in the western corner lead to the one large hall on the second floor.
*the brightly coloured patterns that adorn the ceilings, eaves, support pillars, and walls of temple buildings.
I like Deoksu Gung (Deoksu Palace). Its small, but its right in the centre of the city, right in City Hall. So if you have a spare moment you can duck inside for a breather, and a little serenity.
Ok the guff: 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!).
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.
The entrance to Deoksugung is teh spectacular Taehanmun Gate. Everyday around 2pm you can watch teh change of the guards. The ceremony is a combination of verbal orders, flags, and musical instruments. It is quite fun to watch. The guards wear traditional costume.
is the smallest of the palaces in Seoul, but it has served as the royal residence twice in its history; once for 15 years after the 1592 sacking of the capital, and again from 1897 to 1907 by King Gojong.
The change of gaurds
This served as the royal residence for many years after other palaces in Seoul were burned during a Japanese invasion in 1592. The palace's parklike grounds in the middle of downtown contain several halls and pavilions from different eras. Also houses the Royal Museum, where artifacts of the Joseon Dynasty are displayed, including costumes, musical instruments, and artwork. The Royal Guard changing ceremony is Tuesday-Sunday 2-3:30 pm.
Deoksugung Palace, located opposite Seoul City Hall, allows you to visit Deoksugung Museum, which displays modern art and the Royal Court Relic Exhibition as well as Junghwajeon Hall at the same time with just one ticket. The Palace Command Guard Changing Ceremony takes place at the palace's main gate, Daehanmun, once a day except on public holidays.
Admission. Closed: Mondays
You will find many Koreans dressed in Traditional clothing in and around this park and Palace!!! It is huge and close to centre and a must see place if you are in Seoul.
Alternatively known as the 'Palace of Virtuous Longevity', it's one of the smaller of the palace complexes, but still worth a look.
It is a beatiful palace and it is a visit worthy.
Also is a visit to the musea next to the palace a must so you can see how people are living and how people costume in early century's
Deoksugung Palace was originally built as a residence for Prince Wolsandaegun, elder brother of King Seongjong.
Every day but Monday, soldiers outfitted in traditional Jeosun Dynasty-era attire and weaponry re-enact the ancient and highly coordinated ritual of the changing of the palace guard corps.