SEOUL | Deoksugung Palace by night

In 2014, I travelled alone to Seoul in the Republic of Korea, better known as South Korea. Thus far, it’s my last big solo trip. It was an interesting experience. I’ve forgotten many details and activities I did. That’s why we blog since 2017. But anyway, thanks to photos on Facebook, my guidebook, Wikipedia and Wikitravel, I can reconstruct parts of the adventure.  

Deoksugung, also known as Gyeongun-gung, Deoksugung Palace, or Deoksu Palace, is a walled compound of palaces in Seoul that was inhabited by members of Korea’s royal family during the Joseon monarchy until the annexation of Korea by Japan in 1910. 

It is one of the Five Grand Palaces built by the kings of the Joseon Dynasty.

The buildings are of varying styles, including some of natural cryptomeria wood[citation needed]), painted wood, and stucco. Some buildings were built of stone to replicate western palatial structures.

In addition to the traditional palace buildings, there are also forested gardens, a statue of King Sejong the Great and the National Museum of Art, which holds special exhibitions. The palace is located near City Hall Station.

Destruction

Deoksugung, like the other Five Grand Palaces, was intentionally heavily destroyed during the colonial period of Korea. Currently, only one third of the structures that were standing before the occupation remain.

Deoksugung Palace is special among Korean palaces. It has a modern and a western style garden and fountain. The Changing of the Royal Guard, in front of Daehanmun (Gate), is a very popular event for many visitors. 

The royal guard was responsible for opening and closing the palace gate during the Joseon Dynasty. Outside of the palace is a picturesque road with a stone wall.

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