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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Gyeongbokgung Palace {Travel Tuesday}

Happy Happy Tuesday! 

For today's travel tuesday, I'm going to show you a pretty wonderful place that is here in Korea. I know I've been all over the place lately going from the U.K, to Japan, to Korea, and back. But you know- sometimes I just like to shake it up. During Valentine's weekend, Matt treated me to a stay in one of Seoul's nicer hotels, and we spent the weekend exploring around Seoul. One of our favorite places we stopped was at the largest palace in Korea. 

Gyeongbokgung Palace 

Gyeongbokgung {the Palace Greatly Blessed by Heaven} was built in 1395 during the Joseon Dynasty and was considered the center of Seoul. During the first Japanese invasion in the late 1500s, the palace was looted and a few buildings were destroyed. The palace was reconstructed in 1867 by the Prince Regent, and he added a few more buildings to the palace grounds. And for a while, all was good. But during the second Japanese occupation in the 1900s, the palace was torn down and the main gate was removed. Since 1990, there has been a reconstruction movement to rebuild the palace to how it was during the Joseon Dynasty. Today there are still areas being worked on, but it is still an amazing site to see. 

 Geunjeongjeon Hall - The Throne Hall- {National Treasure No. 223} Important state functions were held here. 

 This is the seven finger dragon made of gold. I don't know the significance, but it's a pretty amazing piece of art. It's on the ceiling of the main throne room, so make sure to look up when you are taking your pictures. 

Gyeonghoeru- This pavilion is the largest elevated pavilion in Korea. This was used for royal banquets and entertainment. The outer 24 columns symbolize the 24 solar terms that mark particular astronomical or natural events of each year. The pavilion has a great view of the palace and of Mt. Inwangsan to its West. 

I was loving the brick work in this section of the palace. It looked so different from the surrounding buildings. It was so detailed. 

 Heungnyemun Gate Compound - What's so amazing to me is this place is smack in the middle of modern day Seoul. This old palace is surrounded by these skyscrapers. It's so crazy. Plus, it's insane to me how old this palace is. I know a lot of it was restored, but it still dates back to the 1300s. 

On our way out we were able to see the changing of the guards ceremony. We didn't even know this was happening while we were there, but I'm glad we caught it. It was pretty interesting to see. I have some video, but I'll share it with y'all when I do my post on the other palace we saw the same day. 

I love the detail Korean architecture has. The colors and the patterns are so beautiful to me. If you guys are in the Seoul area, I really think this should be on your list of things to see. It's one of the big 5 palaces in Korea and it's a pretty amazing site. 

Basic Information
Cost: 3,00 Won, Children 1,500 Won, 6 and Under FREE
Hours: 9:00-6:00 {Final admission at 5:00}
*June through August extended till 6:30
November through February closed at 5:00 
Location: 161 Sajik-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul {Easy access from Subway line 1} 
*Free Guided Tours are offered in English at 11:00, 1:30, and 3:30 
{I believe- The ceremony is every day, except Tuesday, at 11:00, 2:00, and 4:00 at the main gate.}

*For more information click here.  

Travel Tuesday
{Linking up for Travel Tuesday} 

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- Alex