Gyeonghui-gung Palace was the smallest of the Five Grand Palaces built by the Joseon Dynasty, because it was originally constructed as just a royal villa. Kings and royalties used to hold their daily excursions here. Constructed in 1617 and completed in 1623, Gyeonghui-gung Palace originally had 100 units of large and small palace structures, but were destroyed or damaged during the Japanese occupation; much like how the other palaces in Seoul suffered under Japanese tyranny. The Japanese completely destroyed Gyeonghui-gung in order to put up a school for Japanese citizens. Before the Japanese came, a total of ten kings resided in this Seoul Palace.
Seoul is home to a number of exciting man-made and natural parks that speak loudly of the country and its people’s traditions, ideals and passions. Some of the best known Seoul parks are Boramae Park, Namsan Park, Yongsan Park, Hangang Citizen’s Park, and 4.19 Memorial Cemetery.
Boramae Park was formerly the Korean Air Force Academy. It was converted into a park in 1986, and within it constructed sports facilities, a small zoo, a huge pond, and walking paths. The 9,000-square meter pond is surrounded by willow trees and benches where [Read more…]
Dongdaemun Market in Seoul is one of two popular traditional markets that were set up in the early 20th Century. The other one is Namdaemun Market, and both are situated near an old fortress wall gate. The open-air Namdaemun Market remains very traditional, while Dongdaemun has gone through urban changes that made it more a modern high-rise department store than a traditional market. Some of the stores, though, have decided to maintain their old traditional look. Fortunately, however, Dongdaemun has maintained one important feature of a traditional Korean market – bargain sale.
“Dongdaemun” is Korea for “east gate”. Dongdaemun Market first opened sometime in 1905. It became a permanent feature in Seoul’s city and economic landscape, and in the 1970s played a major role in developing the country’s textile industry. In the 1990s, major [Read more…]
Tapgol Park or Pagoda Park may not seem much to the average tourist passing by due to its size, but there is so much history to it. It is Seoul’s first ever modern park, the original site where the Korean Independence Movement Day first gathered on March 1, 1919, and the venue where the Korean Declaration of Independence was held. As the place where the National Constitution was read in public for the first time, this park must be of national significance.
Tapgol is mostly visited by the elderly and other tourists who do not want to walk around too much. Located just east to Jongmyo Shrine, the park contains the 10-storey Wongaksa Pagoda, Palgakjung Pavilion, and Declaration of Independence Monument. The most [Read more…]
For a country that values its heritage and national pride, the existence of a National Museum is extremely important. The National Museum of Korea is the most important museum towards the safekeeping of Korean history and art. Other than a repository of national treasures, the museum is also a cultural organization that best represents South Korea. The National Museum commits to conduct various research studies and activities in history, art and archaeology. It initiates and implements a variety of exhibitions and educational programs.
The idea of establishing a museum of national scale was first thought of by Emperor Sunjong in 1908. Back then, the museum was called the Imperial Household Museum. In 1945, South Korea declared its independence and in that same year the National Museum [Read more…]
Along Seoul’s busy downtown Jeong-dong area across the street from City Hall stands the beautiful Deoksu-gung Palace. Seoul is home to a number of ancient palaces but Deoksu-gung is the only one with an elegant stone-wall road and with modern western-style buildings.
Deoksu-gung Palace was originally owned or attributed to Wolsandaegun, the older brother of King Seongjong (1469-1494) during the Joseon Dynasty. When Gwanghaegun became king in 1611, he declared it to be a proper palace and named it Gyeongun-gung. Later, [Read more…]