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Seoul Searching | Changgyeonggung Palace.

To make the most out of the Royal Cultural Festival (ergo, Free Admission Day), the little man and I also visited the nearby Changgyeonggung Palace, which is connected to Changdeokgung Palace via Hanyangmun Gate.
Changgyeonggung Palace from afar.
The palace, originally called 'Suganggung', was built in the mid-15th century by King Sejong as a resting place for his father Tejong. It also served as residential quarters for queens and concubines.
Honghwamun, the main gate.
During the reign of King Seonjong, the ninth king of Joseon, the palace was renovated and enlarged, and was also renamed into Changgyeonggung.
Myeongjeongmun Gate. 
More of Changgyeonggung Palace after the jump!
A brief history of the palace.
Like the other palaces, Changgyeonggung Palace suffered the same fate in the hands of the Japanese colonial empire, with most of the buildings burnt to the ground.
Okcheongyo Bridge.
The palace was eventually rebuilt in 1616, during the reign of King Gwanghaegun. The three main buildings - Honghwamun Gate, Myeongjongmun Gate, and Myeongjeongjeon Hall are the oldest buildings that remain in the palace today.
Intricate architecture.
Myeongjeongjeon Hall, which serves as the meeting area with palace officials and the reception area for official banquets, is also the oldest main hall of all the palaces in Seoul. 
Myeongjeongjeon Hall.
The seat of power.
A closer look at the entrance to the throne hall.
However, it is smaller than its counterparts in Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung, as this building was meant to be a residence for dowager queens rather than a throne hall.
The courtyard.
At Sungmundang Hall, the King would hold banquets to discuss state affairs and classical literature. He often received university students in this building, where he would test their knowledge and hold celebrations in their honor.
Sungmundang Hall.
Haminjeong Pavillion right across Sungmundang Hall.
Located nearby is the Munjeongjeon, a council hall where the king deals with routine state affairs. This building was also used to enshrine royal tablets after funerals. 
Munjeongjeon Hall.
One of the most tragic incidents to ever occur in the courtyard of this hall was the death of Crown Prince Sado (the character portrayed by Lee Je Hoon in the sageuk 'Secret Door').
Gyeongchunjeon Hall.
Rumor has it that the crown prince was mentally ill and would kill people randomly. Not wanting to jeopardize the throne, his father King Yeongjo, ordered his execution. Sado was locked in a small rice casket, where he died of suffocation and starvation eight days after.
Palace grounds.
Halls facing each other.
Tongmyeongjeong Hall, main building where the kings and their families lived.
Hwangyeongjeon Hall, a residence hall.
One of the more interesting structures that we came across at Changgyeonggung was King Seongjong's Taesil, located near the Chundangi Pond. The Taesil is actually a placenta chamber, where the royal family stored the placenta and umbilical cords of their children.
King Seongjong's Taesil.
Originally built in Gwangju, Gyeonggi-do Province, King Seongjong's Taesil was moved to Changgyeonggung for research purposes as it was the best preserved of all royal Taesils in the country.
Taesilbi (Placenta Burial Marker).
During our visit, an exhibition in honor of King Jeongjo, the son of Crown Prince Sado, was currently being held.
King Jeongjo: His Taste.
The event was called 'King Jeongjo: His Taste', so at first I thought it was some sort of banquet featuring the king's favorite dishes. 
Paint brushes of all shapes and sizes.
Turns out, it was an exhibition of the king's artworks and poetry, and a glimpse of his daily life in the palace.
A replica of King Jeongjo's artwork and poetry.
Calligraphy brushes.
Stamps with various designs.
Guests can use the stamps to their hearts' content.
I guess King Jeongjo loved tea? :)
Yue enjoyed this exhibition a lot, mostly because of the stamps, but I was a bit cautious as there were lots of fragile things on display. I wanted to leave the area as soon as he had his picture taken out of fear of having to pay a gazillion won for that precious tea set. Haha!
Seven-tier pagoda. 
I told him we'll go for a stroll in the garden, as there are 'cool' things outside. And by that I meant the observatory, the sundial, and the punggidae.
Gwancheondae (Observatory).
Punggidae, a stone measuring instrument used to detect the speed of wind
and the direction it is blowing.
Angbuilgi Sundial.
To get to Changgyeonggung Palace, take the subway to Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3) Exit 3. From the exit, walk straight towards the east along Yulgok-ro for about 1 km. Turn left to Changgyeonggung-ro, and walk about 300 meters until you reach the entrance.
Enjoying the spring breeze. :)
Changgyeonggung Palace
185 Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul

9 replies:

Middle-aged Diva (Carol) said...

I have to admit that I mostly impressed that you can spell all those places! I worked for a Korean company for a while, but never got there. It's fascinating, at least from what I read in your post.

Xon said...

This is what I love about Korea, how they take care of the ancient architectures that they have, especially the palaces. Just look at all those lovely architecture!

Julie Syl Kal said...

Wow I love old world architecture and Changgyeonggung Palace sounds like its right up my street. I really am falling in love with Seoul thru your posts :)

Emily Enchanted said...

I can't pronounce any of those names, but I can appreciate the architecture. Gorgeous! I would love to visit some day.

Unknown said...

Beautiful photos. I've been to Korea and it is such a beautiful country. I am planning to go back with the family.

Lisa RIos said...

I love that palace, it looks absolutely gorgeous displaying all the culture & some wonderful architecture which is quiet amazing. The pictures are so beautiful that I would love to visit one such palace anytime.

Unknown said...

Wow, Such a beautiful photos looks like I want to go there with my family, I appreciate all the architectures

First Time Mom and Losing It said...

That is such beautiful architecture. I would love to visit one day.

Unknown said...

Such a beautiful picture, looks like I want to go there