Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Gyeongbokgung Palace, Seoul

A must visit place in South Korea

Going to a place, it's not only about eating, seeing the people around there and shops...One of the most important thing when you travel to one country is to learn their culture.

Hence a visit to this place would definitely be something you would and must do when you're in Seoul, South Korea.

Anyways on the way to the Palace, we saw this interesting guy..
check out the pictures

So after a bit of walk, you can see the infamous,
 Gyeongbokgung Palace

Gyeongbokgung, also known as Gyeongbokgung Palace or Gyeongbok Palace, is a royal palace located in northern Seoul, South Korea. First constructed in 1394 and reconstructed in 1867, it was the main and largest palace of the Five Grand Palaces built by the Joseon Dynasty. The name of the palace, Gyeongbokgung, translates in English as "Palace of Shining Happiness."

Nearly destroyed by the Japanese government in the early 20th century, the walled palace complex is slowly being restored to its original form prior to destruction. As of 2009, roughly 40 percent of the original number of palace buildings still stand or are reconstructed.

Gyeongbokgung was originally constructed in 1394 by King Taejo, the first king and the founder of the Joseon Dynasty, and its name was conceived by an influential government minister named Jeong Dojeon. Afterwards, the palace was continuously expanded during the reign of King Taejong and King Sejong the Great, but was severely damaged by fire in 1553; its costly restoration, ordered by King Myeongjong, was completed in the following year. However, the majority of the palace was burnt to the ground during the Japanese invasions of Korea (1592–1598). The palace site was left in ruins for the next three centuries. 

In 1867, during the regency of Daewongun, the palace buildings were reconstructed and formed a massive complex with 330 buildings and 5,792 rooms. Standing on 4,657,576 square feet (432,703 square meters) of land, Gyeongbokgung again became an iconic symbol for both the Korean nation and the Korean royal family. In 1895, after the assassination of Empress Myeongseong by Japanese agents, her husband, Emperor Gojong, left the palace; since then, the Imperial family never returned to Gyeongbokgung. 

Starting from 1911, the Japanese government systemically demolished all but 10 buildings during the Japanese occupation of Korea and hosted numerous exhibitions in Gyeongbokgung. In 1926, the government constructed the massive Japanese General Government Building in front of the throne hall, Geunjeongjeon, in order to eradicate the symbol and heritage of the Joseon Dynasty.

Gwanghwamun Gate, the main and south gate of Gyeongbokgung, was relocated by the Japanese to the east of the palace, and its wooden structure was completely destroyed during the Korean War.

Gyeongbokgung's original 19th century palace buildings that survived both the Japanese occupation of Korea and the Korean War include Geunjeongjeon the Imperial Throne Hall (National Treasure No. 223), Hyangwonjeong Pavilion, Jagyeongjeon Hall, Jibokjae Hall, Sajeongjeon Hall, Sujeongjeon Hall, and Gyeonghoeru Pavilion (National Treasure No. 224). Modern archaeological surveys have brought 330 building foundations to light.

In 1989, the South Korean government started a 40-year initiative to rebuild the structures that were destroyed by the Japanese government during the period of Japanese occupation of Korea.

In 1995, the Japanese General Government Building, after many controversial debates about its fate, was demolished in order to reconstruct Heungnyemun Gate and its cloisters.

Today, the palace is open to the public and houses the National Folk Museum of Korea and the National Palace Museum of Korea. The National Museum of Korea, once previously located in the palace grounds, was relocated to Yongsan-gu in 2005.

By the end of 2009, it was estimated that approximately 40 percent of the structures that were standing before the Japanese occupation of Korea were restored or reconstructed. As a part of the phase 5 of the Gyeongbokgung restoration initiative, Gwanghwamun, the main gate to the palace, was restored to its original design. Another 20 year restoration project is planned by the South Korean government to restore Gyeongbokgung to its former status.

 Enough reading aight?! haha
Check out how is the place like....

Girls in Korean traditional clothes

Emperor Procession

Saw a gal taking a picture of her shoes....oh, she was there taking pictures of her shoes for SUPERBLY long!

the kiasu me, took once as well! mine was a 1 seconds shot and i'm done with! XD

then i was asked to post! haha

woots! XD

I like this picture! XD

We were posing all the way yo! hahaha

something flying on the right lol

check out the CURRENT palace, it's just right behind the Gyeongbokgung Palace

back into Gyeongbokgung Palace...this part of it is pretty nice

poser in the house yo!

yes i'm a dragon...

A little small old village you can check out on the way out

So how do you get there?
You can take a subway;
Gyeongbokgung entry is located 22 Sajik-no, Jongno-gu. The nearest subway station is Gyeongbokgung Station (Line 3).

Impressive right?

Pictures credit to Ho Wei Zheng