Kootje Dijkstra | Gyeongbokgung Palace
post-template-default,single,single-post,postid-16732,single-format-standard,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,qode-title-hidden,qode_grid_1300,qode_popup_menu_push_text_right,qode-theme-ver-9.1.2,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-4.11.2,vc_responsive

20 Sep Gyeongbokgung Palace

Last weekend we thought it was about time to visit one of Seoul’s palaces, Gyeongbokgung! Gyeongbokgung was the main royal palace during the Joseon dynasty. Built in the north of Seoul (by then the heart) and surrounded by mountains, Gyeongbokgung is one of the most iconic sights. We visited Gyeongbokgung last Saturday and went by metro.

Schermafbeelding 2017-09-20 om 14.18.59

The main entrance Heungnyemun // Korean girls can rent the traditional ‘hanbok’ clothing in nearby shops. Most of the time, you can get free entrance when you arrive in this outfit.

Schermafbeelding 2017-09-20 om 14.13.57

The site is really huge and contains of over 500 structures. Lots of them were destroyed by fire during the Japanese occupation. You can easily spend a few hours here by just walking around the gardens and in between the areas.

Schermafbeelding 2017-09-20 om 14.19.07

As you can see, it is a very touristic spot.

Schermafbeelding 2017-09-20 om 14.13.34

Just as many other historical structures in Korea, these buildings had the Korean red and green art painting on the wooden structures, called Dancheong, as well. Dancheong has, besides the decorative function, also a protective function. They say it prevents the wood from rotting, caused by hot temperatures or cold wind and rain. On a spiritual level, it apparently could protect the area from evil spirits.

Schermafbeelding 2017-09-20 om 14.19.29

Hyangwonjeong Pavillion, a small piece of architecture in the middle of the pond. It was under construction now so we couldn’t get any closer. Though I wonder if it is even possible anyways..

Schermafbeelding 2017-09-20 om 14.14.04

School kids on a field trip // Girls posing in front of the Gyeonghoeru Pavillion.

Schermafbeelding 2017-09-20 om 14.13.43

Jibokjae Hall, used as the king’s library and a reception room for foreigners. // Girls in traditional ‘hanbok’ clothing, matched with Nike Air Max or some other hot and trending sneakers, bags of chips, milkshakes and the most up-to-date smartphone 🙂

Schermafbeelding 2017-09-20 om 14.19.37

Gyeongbokgung also houses the National Museum of Korea, but we didn’t visit it yet. On the plaza across the site, there was a stand with free calligraphy and we could also see the big statue of King Sejong, who invented the Hangeul (Korean alphabet).

That was Gyeongbokgung Palace! There are many other palaces of this era in and around Seoul which we would like to visit during our time here. After that, we went for some Korean food around the City Hall area and went back to Konkuk.