Tag Archives: Gyeongbokgung Palace

Gyeongbokgung Palace

Gyongbokgung Palace (translated to The Palace Greatly Blessed by Heaven) is a major landmark in terms of Korean history.  It served as the center of culture the king’s affairs for more than 500 years.  The palace was built in the late 14th century.

IMG_5461 copy


On a Saturday, we decided to be tourists for a bit and ventured out to see the palace.  The palace grounds covered a very large area, and it made for a stark contrast against the background of downtown Seoul, where the forests and traditional Korean architecture have given way to sprawling office parks and busy roads.


The palace now serves only as a source of national pride (which Korea is not lacking in, with their hundreds of officially designated national treasures) and a reminder of an older brand of Korean culture, so people come and go to see the sights and admire the beautiful palace.

Like so much traditional Korean architecture, the woodwork, painting, and attention to detail are unparalleled and definitely worth admiring.

IMG_5469 copy



IMG_5479 copy

Like so many of Korea’s favorite things, the palace was burned down by the Japanese (twice, in fact – once at the end of the 16th century and again in the early 20th century).  As the major symbol of Korean power and sovereignty, this was an obvious target, but you would be surprised at the number of temples that were burned as well.  This and the rumor that Japan is interested in stealing back what is presently the Korean island Dokdo make for some pretty strong resentment from Koreans toward the Japanese.


IMG_5486 copy

However, as with basically all of their national treasures, Koreans salvaged what they could and rebuilt the rest as well as they could, serving as a monument to their country’s history.

IMG_5491 copy

IMG_5496 copy


IMG_5485 copy

IMG_5505 copy

In addition to the incredibly beautiful main hall (pictured below), there were several surrounding buildings.  These served purposes from housing the king’s concubines to housing elderly parents to the king’s sleeping quarters (quite modest for a king) to my favorite, his pondering room, which was aptly translated from Sajeongjeon to “the room where the king should think deeply before deciding what is right and what is wrong.”  I bet those rooms have seen some great pondering sessions.

IMG_5509 copy

IMG_5518 copy

IMG_5512 copy

Even though it was freezing, we had a great time wandering around and exploring all the beautiful details of the palace.

IMG_5521 copy


IMG_5527 copy

IMG_5533 copy

IMG_5543 copy IMG_5547 copy

IMG_5568 copy

IMG_5576 copy

IMG_5585 copy


IMG_5589 copy



IMG_5604 copy

IMG_5609 copy

A couple of palace handstands ^^

IMG_5614 copy