The most admired and lavish of all the royal palaces of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), Gyeongbokgung is widely admired as a work of stately architecture as well as for its role in the 500-year history of Korea's last kingdom.
The palace contains valuable architectural masterpieces, such as Gyeonghoeru Pavilion, Hyangwonjeong Pavilion and Geunjeongjeon Hall, and two museums : the National Folk Museum to the east and National Palace Museum to the west.
Located at the center of this palace, Geunjeongjeon Hall symbolized the royal authority of Joseon's various monarchs and was the setting for state events and high-level assemblies.
The railings around the hall bare the images of the guardians of the four cardinal directions : the Red Phoenix (Jujak), White Tiger (Baekho), Black Tortoise-Snake (Hyeonmu) and Blue Dragon (Cheongnyong), which were believed to have guarded the palace with their sacred power.
Behind the crown hall can be found the king's office (Sajeongjeon), residence (Gangnyeongjeon) and his queen's residence (Gyotaejeon).
Gyeonghoeru, the majestic pavilion to the left of the crown hall, is a lofty two-story structure that was erected on an artificial pond of great architectural beauty.
Other attractions here include the "Amisan chimney" and "Jangsaeng (Longevity) chimney" in the rear gardens of Gyotaejeon Hall and Jagyeongjeon Hall, respectively.
The chimneys are famous for their ingenious combination of practicality and artistic beauty designed to meet the royal ladies' aesthetic sensibilities.
□ How to get there
- Transfer to Subway Line 5 at Gongdeok Station → Exit No. 2 in Gwanghwamun
Station (10 minute walk)
- Transfer to Subway Line 1 at Seoul Station → Transfer to Subway Line 3 at
Jongno-3-ga Station → Exit No. 5 in Gyeongbokgung Station
- 09:00 ~ 18:00 (closed on Mondays)
- Gyeongbokgung Palace http://www.royalpalace.go.kr/ ☎ 02-3700-3900