Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Palace Visit Project: Changdeokgung 창덕궁

I've always wanted to visit the palaces in Seoul. I've seen Gyeongbokgung (경복궁) for like a million times but I haven't seen the other palaces. I've also visited Cheongwadae (청와대) or the Blue House (I'll feature it in my next blog) which is the official residence of the President of Korea. So as part of my Palace Visit Project ^^, I've decided to visit Changdeokgung with my friend.

My friend Gino (not he's real name but that's how I call him since his name sounds like this) and I met in Anguk station (안국역) of the orange line/line 3. It was also Gino's first time to visit the place eventhough he is a Korean. We were shocked with the number of Japanese tourists visiting the palace. Translations in Japanese, English and Korean were available but in a specific time frame so if you happen to come during a Japanese translation alloted time then it's either you wait or you just go with the Japanese group, like what we did. Since I can understand Japanese it was still fine although we didn't really listen to the guide ^^;

Considered as one of the "Five Grand Palaces" built by the kings of the Joseon Dynasty. The location being east of Gyeongbok Palace (the main palace), Changdeokgung, with Changgyeongung (next target ^^), is also referred to as the East Palace. Literally the meaning of Changdeokgung(昌德宮) is "Palace of Prospering Virtue."The place was indeed enormous. The palace architecture is said to have an asymmetric beauty that is unique to Korea.This palace is another "must visit" place in Seoul, not just for being part of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage but because I visited it (lol) and the fee's not expensive, only 3,000 won. However, this is already the most expensive among the palaces, since other palaces only cost a thousand won or for free ^^
Here are some of the places and pictures


Seonjeongjeon Hall - An office for ruling officials, the king held daily meetings with ministers, reported on state affairs and seminars here.
Huijeongdang Hall - Originally the king's bed chamber, it became his workplace after Seonjeongjeon was deemed too small for conducting routine state affairs.
Daejojeon Hall - Official residence of the queen. Destroyed by fire in 1917, it was rebuilt with materials taken from Gyeongbokgung. Daejojeon was used as a residence for the last empress of Joseon, allowing us a glimpse into the final years of the royal household of the Joseon Dynasty.

Juhamnu Pavilion or the Kyujanggak- Royal libraries stood in this area. State exams were conducted in front of the pavilion on special occasions in presence of the king.

No comments:

Post a Comment