[4K] Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul (with closed caption, Eng sub)
I'm heading to Gyeongbokgung Palace. "Gung" means a palace. You have to follow the exit 5 to get there. The subway station itself looks different from others.
They display some cartoons which show things related with this place. Ten symbols of longevity. Ceremony of crown prince's entrance to the national Confucian academy. Blue and white porcelain jar with dragon design.
A portrait of a king. Pheasant patterned ceremonial robe and accessory. Gold seal of a king. The symbols of the nation's prosperity : Sun, Moon, mountains, pine trees, waves.
If you get out of the exit 5, you can see the big gate, buildings and visitors wearing traditional Korean costume. Gyeongbokgung (경복궁 景福宮), built in 1395, was the main royal palace of the Joseon dynasty (1392-1910). Gyeongbokgung served as the home of Kings of the Joseon dynasty, the Kings' households, as well as the government of Joseon.
The name of the palace reflects its founders’ wishes for the dynasty to thrive and prosper. The palace was destroyed by fire in 1592 when a huge Japanese army invaded Korea, and lay in ruins for about 270 years until 1867. Some 500 buildings were restored on a site of over 40 hectares. The architectural principles of ancient Korea were incorporated into the tradition and appearance of the Joseon royal court. In the early 20th century, much of the palace was systematically destroyed by Imperial Japan (1910-1945).
Since the 1990s, the walled palace complex is gradually being restored to its original form. On January 21, 1963, it was designated as a cultural property. This has the National Palace Museum and the National Folk Museum. They are guards who protect the main gate of the palace. Gwanghwamun is the main gate of the palace.
Many gather in this place to root for the national sport team during the World-Cup and to demonstrate to expose their dissatisfaction. So, Gwanghwamun is a symbol of enthusiasm and democracy now. Haetae (해태, often spelled haitai or haechi) is a legendary creature in East Asian mythology.
In Korea, Haetae is a mythical beast that prevents fire disaster. To prevent fire in Gyeongbok palace, Haetae sculpture was placed in front of the palace. Seoul city has officially used Haetae as the symbol of Seoul since 2009. Walking through the gate, I felt like I were riding a time-machine.
This world is quiet, peaceful and authentic. On the right side is a ticket office. It says this palace is closed every Monday and Tuesday. They open 9:00~17:00. (You have to enter it by 16:00) The entrance fee is 3,000 won (2.5 US dollars).
They open the palace at night in April and May. (19:30~21:30) If you wear the traditional Korean clothes, the entrance fee is free. That's why many are wearing them.
This space is divided into 3 areas. 1. entrance area 2. government area
3. living area (sleeping spaces and banquet building) We've been looking around only the entrance area. They made it big so that they could protect kings from enemies or killers.
It's because it took a while to break in this palace. We have to pass the 3 gates to enter the main space. Now, we're entering the government area.
This building is "Geunjeongjeon Hall", which has gotten famous after the boy-group BTS had an interview with US TV show with this as a backdrop. As its name Geun-Jeong (literally “diligent governance”) suggests, Geunjeongjeon was the throne hall of Gyeongbokgung in which each Joseon ruler and his government were expected to handle state affairs in a diligent manner. Built to symbolize the sovereignty of Joseon’s rulers, the hall was used as a venue for various royal and state events such as the coronation ceremonies of Joseon kings, cabinet meetings, receptions of foreign envoys, and final state examinations.
The current hall was built in 1867 to replace the original, which was burnt down during the Japanese Invasion in 1592. Each headstones on the ground indicates the positions of each governor. This is the throne. The painting at the back shows the symbols of the nation's prosperity : Sun, Moon, mountains, pine trees, waves. This fine example of Korean architecture, Gyeonghoeru Pavilion, was used as a venue for various state events such as royal banquets, receptions of foreign envoys, final state examinations, and seasonal religious rituals.
This was entirely destroyed by fire during the Japanese Invasion of Korea in 1592, and was not replaced by the current building until 1867. Sajeongjeon Hall was the main council hall of Joseon’s rulers as well as the place where they went about their everyday duties. It was in this hall that Joseon’s monarchs held daily morning assemblies with their highest-ranking officials, and lectures and sessions on state affairs. Gangyneonjeon Hall was served as the king’s living quarters and a private area in which the king slept and conducted his daily life.
The hall was used by Joseon kings for reading, refreshments and unofficial meetings to discuss the state affairs with their cabinet members. The original building was burnt down during the Japanese Invasion in 1592, and was restored in 1865. Gyotaejeon was the official residence of Joseon queen consorts whose duties included the management and supervision of royal household affairs related with all female members of the royal court.
Behind the hall is an elegant little garden called Amisan, which is widely admired for its fine terrace of flower beds and four chimneys. The chimneys are hexagonal and their walls are elaborately decorated with symbolic plants and animals such as crane, bat, phoenix, pine, vine, Korean apricot, chrysanthemum, herb of immortality, rocks, bird and deer. The space for kings. They hung the doors during the summer time to air out and to make it cool. The banquet place. A boy asked "How many stories does it have? 3 or 4?" His mom answered "Oh, it's reflection, boy."
The conference building. I'm sorry for the bad definition. I shot them with my phone camera so I can't help it.
The space for queens. The government building. The second gate. Can you see the light on the top of the mountain? That's the defense wall.
The main gate. The statue, Haetae, to protect the palace from fire disaster. There are many other tourist attractions around here. If you visit Gwanghwamun, don't miss them. The Gwanghwamun square. It was Buddha's Birthday, 19 May 2021. To mark the occasion , lanterns in various colors decorate the streets.
The US embassy is around here. 2021. May. 19 (This is how to write dates in Korea.)