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Last updated: Aug 11,2008


Gyeongbok Palace

KwanghwamunKwanghwamun Built at the beginning of the Chosun Dynasty when the Yi Dynasty moved the capital to Seoul, this palace remained the main seat of power for Korea kings throughout much of the time to the present. Gyeongbok means Shining Happiness. The main gate (Kwanghwa-mun) separates Gyeongbok Palace from one of the busiest areas of Seoul. Gyeongbok Palace was built as the primary palace of the Chosun Kingdom by its founder, King Taejo in 1395, the fourth year of his reign.

Kyonbok081 It was destroyed during the Japanese invasion of 1592 and left in ruins for over 250 years. Starting in 1865, it was rebuilt to its original grandeur. When Korea was annexed by Japan in 1910, most of the 200 building on the palace grounds were torn down by the Japanese, leaving only a dozen structures. The map near the front entrance shows the arrangement of the complex during the latter part of the reign of King Kojong. It shows the major hails, pavilions, offices, storerooms, gates and bridges of the 419,100 square meter grounds.

Kwanghwamun Kyonbok007 Kyonbok023 Kyonbok018

National Folk Museum

sel0906.jpg Located inside Gyeongbok Palace, the National Folk Museum comprises three interconnected buildings. The three examples of traditional Korean architecture on the roofs are some of the highest buildings on the palace grounds, and can be easily seen from almost anywhere.Inside the museum are examples of the different periods of Korean history, from pre-history through the Japanese occupation. In addition to actual relics, replicas and paintings show various aspects of traditional life, including many ceremonies and festivals. Jungang Hall, in the center of the three wings, is used to showcase various exhibitions that change periodically.

Changdeok Palace / Biwon Garden

Huijeondang Construction of Changdok Palace (historic site #122) was started in 1405 by King T'aejong, and it was completed in 1412. In 1463, King Sejo expanded the palace and created Biwon (secret) Garden. The Japanese burned all the buildings during 1592. Although rebuilt, many of the buildings have burned and been rebuilt several times. Thirteen of Korea's kings lived here for a total of over 270 years, a longer period than at Gyeongbok Palace. The palace grounds cover over 110 acres. Thirteen of the original buildings remain, with an additional 28 in Biwon Garden.

Tonhwamun The main gate to Changdeok Palace is Tonhwamun (National Treasure #383) which is similar to Honghwamun gate in Changgyeong Palace. Built in 1412, it was destroyed in 1592 during the Japanese invasion. Rebuilt in 1607, it is Seoul's oldest 20story wooden gate.

Biwon Garden
Originally named Huwon, (meaning "rear garden"), Biwon is typical of palace backyards where kings and other members of the royal family would go to relax and entertain. In 1997, it was registered as a World Heritage.

Biwon Biwon Biwon

Biwon Biwon


Excursion infomation is from www.lifeinkorea.com. For more infomation, please refer this site