Gyeongbokgung Palace, Seoul

4.5 out of 5 stars 94 Reviews

161 Sajik-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul +82 2-3700-3900

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  • Gyeongbokgung Palace
    by jckim
  • Gyeongbokgung Palace
    by jckim
  • Gyeongbokgung Palace
    by jckim
  • KevinMichael's Profile Photo

    See Gyeongbok Palace

    by KevinMichael Written Jan 4, 2006

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    At the beginning of the Joseon Dynasty (also known as the Chosŏn), Seoul became the capital. During this dyndasty construction for Gyeongbok Palace began in 1394. This palace was the center of power for the Korea dynasties from its inseption until the 20th century. The last Korean dynasty ( came to an end with the Japanese Empire occupation of Korea in 1910. At that time, most of the 200 buildings on the palace grounds were destroyed by Japanese troops leaving only a dozen or so structures.

    Gyeongbok Palace has a number of sites to check out including:

    Gyeonghoeru (Pavilion of Joyous Meeting): It was used as a royal banquet hall during the Joseon dynasty for honoring foreign dignitaries. It was burned down during the Japanese Invasion of 1592, but rebuilt in 1867. It's the largest elevated pavilion in Korea.

    The National Museum

    Keunjeong-jeon: This was the royal throne hall of the Joseon dynasty and is Korea's largest surviving wooden structure.

    Gyeonghoeru (Kyeonghoe-ru) inside Gyeongbok Palace The top of the National Museum Keunjeong-jeon: Joseon dynasty's throne room Guards guarding with pseudo-halbergs
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    Free Show on October 3 (National Foundation Day)

    by TurenPenny Updated Oct 8, 2005

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    I happened to visit there on Oct. 3rd . On the way there, you can see Korean national flags in the street. And when we arrived their, there was Korean traditional performances right in front of the main palace of Gyongfugong.
    It was because of Korean National Foudation Day. This day marks the traditional founding of Korea by Tan-gun in 2333 B.C. According to legend, the god-king, "Tan-gun" founded the Choson Kingdom in 2333 B.C.
    With the beautiful wheather, under the clear sky, enjoy the the splendid show while visiting the ancient palace. That is cool!
    3000 won entrance fee
    Subway : Line 3, Gyongfugong

    The palace will not cost you a lot of time, so if you have time you can exit from Guanghwamen, and cross the road, walk along the street south.
    Here we are the ShiZong Art Museum. and If you go one block further, you will easily find City Hall at your left hand.

    Gyongfugong Beautiful Korean Performer and I The Exhibition in front of Shizong Art Museum
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    A Journey into the Past~

    by Outbound88 Written Aug 21, 2005

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    The Kyongbuk Palace is one of the most popular tourist sites in Seoul. It was founded in 1395 by King Taejo. This was the home of the Chosun Dynasty, which was the last Dynasty of Korea. You will amazed at the beautiful architecture. It's also a great place to relax. There are many park benches throughout the palace.

    Entrance    *Courtesy of Mr. Rickey
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    Gyeonghoeru Pavilion

    by Ines28 Written Aug 7, 2005

    Gyeonghoeru Pavilion was built to hold banquets for national congratulatory events or greet foreign envoys during the Joseon Dynasty. It was built in the fourth year of King Taejo in 1395, and burnt down during Yimjinwaeran, Japans invasion of Joseon. It was later reestablished during the renovation of Gyeongbokgung Palace in 1867. This is the most famous pavilion of the Joseon Dynasty, especially beautiful with the surrounding mountains and the reflection in the water.

    Gyeonghoeru Pavilion
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    Gyeongbokgung Palace

    by Ines28 Written Aug 2, 2005

    Gyeongbokgung was built in 1395 by Lee Seong-Gye, founder of the Joseon Dynasty, who established the city as the capital of Korea. The magnificent rectangular palace, which now contains the National Museum of Korea, features Royal apartments and state rooms, gardens and elegant lotus ponds. The palace is still in process of restoration but this is no problem for visitors as the area is enormous and only small parts of it are under restoration.
    From some perspectives you only see the surrounding mountains but no skyscrapers, which is amazing considering the location in one of the biggest cities in the world!
    Opening time: Daily 9am to 6pm (closes 5pm between November and February); Admission: 3,000 won (adults); 1,500 won (children 7-18)

    Gyeongbokgung
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    Built to Last

    by kphstar Updated Jul 27, 2005

    Within the Imperial Palace compound, there are seemingly endless buildings, alleyways and ponds. You can get a sense of what like was like for the Imperial family in bygone years. Can help but feel a litte envious.

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    Built to Last

    by kphstar Written Jul 27, 2005

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    Visiting the Imperial Palace (situate at the heart of the city) you can swept away to another century as you walk through the perfectly preserved remains of yesteryears.

    The buildings and the way it's constructed, as well as the decorations that dawn these structures are simply beautiful. It's a reminder of the skill that is essentially loss to time

    Although it was a rainy day and some of the area were off limits for restoration, we go to see quite a bit.

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    See a mix of the old and new.

    by lobsterman Written Jun 10, 2005

    Perhaps one of the main palaces in all of Seoul, it is set in a massive compound under the watchful eyes of a rocky mountain. It reminded me alot of The Forbidden City in China, with the many walkways and gardens and dozens of buildings. If you visit on the weekend, it'll be crowded but there will be actors dressed as imperial guards which is a pretty cool addition to the atmosphere!!

    Hangin' at the Palace

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    The 9 Mystical Animals

    by chatterley Written May 28, 2005

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    The Chinese influence in Korea could be found anywhere, from architecture to language. When visiting the Korean palace, we spotted another example.

    If you look closely, 9 mystical animals are perched on the roof of the palace. These 9 animals could also be seen on the roofs of the palace in the Forbidden City (The imperial palace of China, at Beijing). These animals are guardians which protect the palace, and also the royalty who reside within.

    the 9 animals

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  • Geunjeongjeon (Gyeongbokgung)

    by mke1963 Written Apr 23, 2005

    This is the central, most important hall at Gyeongbukgung, and for many centuries, in the whole of Korea. Here the Korean king would hold ceremonies and meet with foreign envoys: it was the official seat of power. First built, like much of the complex, in 1395 by King To-jon, first ruler of the Joseon dynasty, it was destroyed by Japanese invaders in 1592. It was rebuilt in the original form in 1867. It is, in my humble opinion, simply one of Asia’s most beautiful buildings, and one of the top ten in the world. Another ‘top’ building, the Gyeonghoeru, is just one hundred metres away! Two for the price of one!
    Geunjeongjeon does not have the elaborate intricacy of the great palaces of Beijing or Bangkok or the ancient temples of Angkor Wat or Luang Prabang, but its simple form, its modest stone platform and its flowing roof have a unique elegance and beauty. It exemplifies the quiet but strong Korean character more than any other single building.
    Geunjeongjeon is approached from the south gate, Gwanghwamun, through the guarded front door at Heungmyemun and into the inner courtyard at the Geunjeongmun, a process of steadily building up the anticipation for the Geunjeongjeon itself.
    In the early morning or the later afternoon, the low sun increases the dramatic effect of the approach.
    Unlike the three main halls of Beijing’s imperial city, Geunjeongjeon loses much of its impressive nature when seen from the sides or the rear, probably because the architects never intended for it to be seen much from these angles!

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  • Gyeongbokgung - Part III

    by mke1963 Written Apr 23, 2005

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    In 1592, the palace was burnt to the ground and Changdukgung, nearby, became the seat of power in the country. It was to remain in ruins until 1868 when it was restored to its former glory and King Gojong moved in. But the legacy of unhappiness at Gyeongbukgung was not yet over, for in 1895, Queen Min was savagely murdered by Japanese assassins in her bedroom along with her maids. The distraught Gojong left for the relative safety of the Russian legation and then to the nearby Deoksugung. Concepts of distance and safety were different in those days, as Deoksugung is only twenty minutes walk from Gyeongbukgong.
    Gyeongbukgung, for all its splendour, has a sad air about it: so much promise and so much beauty, yet a constant reminder of occupation, invasion and internal power struggles. The complex has been partially restored, including the removal of an ugly building constructed by the Japanese simply to hide the palace from the citizens of Seoul.

    Individual elements and areas of this huge and interesting complex are reviewed separately, and with the National Folk Museum lying within its grounds, it would be easy to spend half a day wandering through Korea’s regal history. For those who like a feel for the historical context of important sites, I would recommend going to the Folk Museum first, as this superb museum provides a well-structured background to what you will see in the palaces and monuments of the city. If you do this, make sure to walk round the outside of Gyeongbukgung to enter the palace by its front gate. (If you enter from the ‘north gate’ you will come across all the beautiful buildings from the back!)

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  • Gyeongbokgung - Part II

    by mke1963 Written Apr 23, 2005

    Gyeongbokgung is big and it feels wide open, with the view all around of the loose, shattered cliffs and fir-covered mountains. Rarely can a royal palace have such a green background, as there is almost none of Seoul lying to the north of this palace.
    Despite the low buildings, Gyeongbokgung dominates the city of Seoul. It struck me that it would be wonderful to somehow create a traffic-free green boulevard right through central Seoul to the gateway of Gyeongbokgung. Just five kilometres of grass lines with cypress, juniper, yew and cherry trees, 50 metres wide. Perhaps impossible to create, but surely it would create the most awesome sight in Asia. (Sorry…just dreaming here!)

    The palace heralded the start of the Joseon dynasty, and was built by its first king To-jon. The former General Yi had set off in 1392 to fight Chinese Ming forces in the Liaotung peninsula when he had a change of heart and decided to seize power in Koryo. On his success he declared his new kingdom Chosun, and started to build a new capital at Seoul. Gyeongbokgung and the city walls were built simultaneously. But life was not so happy for the king: his large family immediately started fighting for power among themselves, and only six years later, the king, fed up with it all, left Seoul as battles raged all over the new city between armies belonging to his sons. To-jon eventually abdicated in favor of his pushy, ambitious fifth son, Pang-won.
    The palace of Gyeongbokgung grew in, around and over the ashes of this in-fighting.

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  • Gyeongbokgung - Part I

    by mke1963 Written Apr 23, 2005

    In the distant past, this was a huge complex of royal palaces and buildings, stretching over the gentle slope up to the mountains. Metaphorically, this slope retains the seat of power in Korea as the Blue House, the official residence of the president, sits serenely behind Gyeongbokgung…and perhaps significantly, slightly higher up!
    Today, most of the buildings have disappeared, but the most important ones remain – some in their original state, others reconstructed in their original form. Korea can teach many countries about how to create a dignified and atmospheric setting for cultural heritage. It is done in a way that is respectful yet educational and informative: it is neither pushy nor aggressive, like the cultural heritage of some Asian countries, nor is it crassly commercialized. The authorities here provide access to their culture for a nominal sum (just 1000 won or US$1 at many sites) and give out free informative leaflets in Korean, English and Japanese. This reserved, thoughtful approach to cultural heritage management deserves applause and wider recognition, not because it provides cheaper tours by foreign visitors flitting by, but because it provides access to ordinary Korean people and their children so that they can feel their history and their culture.
    As the winds of profit and commerce blow in every direction around the world, Korea deserves credit for their strategy, their tactics and their attitude.

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    The First Palace

    by amambaw Written Apr 22, 2005

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    Gyeongbukgung is the main palace in the Seoul area. This was the seat of power for the Joseon dynasty, the final dynasty of Korea before the Japanese colonial period starting in 1910.

    The palace is open to the public, which means that it is busy on weekdays and nightmarish on weekends! Be prepared to get jostled a bit.

    The palace was almost completely razed during the colonial period, so much of what is there now is what has been rebuilt by the Korea government over the last few decades.

    The palace is quite impressive, with large squares, great halls, beautiful gardens and the like. To get a better idea of the history of the place, I recommend taking a free tour. The English tours leave several times a day; ask for information when you buy your ticket.

    Main Hall of Gyeonbukgung
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    • Historical Travel

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    Dongsipjagak

    by jckim Written Mar 8, 2005

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    Dongsipjagak is a watchtower at the southeastern corner of Gyeongbokgung Palace. the stone platform was made by King Taejo built the palace in 1395. it is one of the most outstanding building of Gyeongbokgung Palace.
    ( Seoul Trangible Cultural Property No 13 )

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