Located at the corner of Seoul’s busiest downtown intersection, Deoksugung Palace is famous for its elegant stone-wall road. It is also the only palace that sits alongside a series of western style buildings that add to the uniqueness of the surrounding scenery. Deoksugung Palace originally belonged to Wolsandaegun (1454~1488), the older brother of King Seongjong (1469~1494) of the Joseon Dynasty. It became a proper palace when Gwanghaegun (1575~1641) ascended the throne and gave the palace the name Gyeongungung in 1611. Afterwards, the name was then changed back to its orginal title of Deoksugung.
Upon entering Deoksugung Palace and Daehanmun, visitors will cross the wide bridge of Geumcheon. The king’s carriage would pass over this bridge during ancient times. The Beopjeon Building Junghwajeon is very stately, revealing of its long history.
The Jeukjodang Building received its name from Gwanghaegun and Injo both ascended to the throne here. The front sign on Jeukjodang was written personally by Gojong in 1905 after he became king. Hamnyeongjeon was where Gojong slept, and Hamnyeong was named so to wish Gojong lasting peace. The East Wing served as the Kings room, and the west wing was for the Queen. Jeonggwanheon was the first western style building built in the palace in 1900. Gojong enjoyed drinking coffee and spending his free time here. The back of the building had secret passageways to the Russian Emissary, which still exist today.
Seokjojeon is the other western-style building that still remains in Deoksugung, and it was in the process of being built by a British man for his company when in 1905 the property rights were transferred to Japan. It was finally completed in 1910. After Gojong’s death, Seokjojeon became a Japanese art gallery open to the public. After the Korean Declaration of Independence, the American-Russian joint commission was held here as well in May 1946. The east wing of Seokjogwan building now serves as a Palace Treasure exhibition, and the west wing is used as part of National Modern Arts Center.
The Junghwajeon (Junghwa Hall) was the center of politics during the period of Daehanjeguk (the Great Korean Empire) and served as the backdrop to critical discussions on national affairs among the countrys great leaders. The elaborateness of the halls interior is said to reflect the confidence of King Gojong (26th king of the Joseon Dynasty, reigning 1863-1907) in his ability to effectual lead the country into the 20th century. One of the most striking parts of the building is the pair of dragons that decorates the canopy above the throne of the king. These dragons can be also seen on the ceiling of Junghwajeon and were representative designs of the Deoksugung (Palace), the imperial palace at that time.
Though the Junghwajeon was originally built in 1902 as a multi-roofed building, it was redesigned as a single-roofed building in 1906 after it caught on fire in 1904. The Junghwa Hall is one of the historical centers of Deoksugung (Palace), which stands proudly alongside other notable buildings at the palace, such as: Seokeodang, Junmyeongdang, Jeukjodang, Jeonggwanheon, Deokhongjeon, Borugak, and Jagyeokru.
Operating Hours: 09:00 – 21:00 (Ticketing 09:00 – 20:00)
– Junghwajeon Hall is open to the public every Saturday and Sunday from 09:00 to 16:00, starting from May 1, 2010.
Closed: Every Monday
Activity Information: Changing of the Royal Guards Ceremony -> Ceremony Schedule: 11:00, 14:00, 15:30 (Closed on Mondays)
Reservation Info. for Foreigners: Tel +82-2-771-9955, Online Reservations ( English , Korean )
National Museum of Korea provides visitors with an opportunity to understand about the culture and artwork of Korea. The largest museum in the country houses precious Korean cultural assets that demonstrates the story of Korea’s fascinating history, life, and arts, from hand axes of the Paleolithic period, to celadons of the Goryeo dynasty, to paintings of the Joseon dynasty, to modern photography.
In addition to a number of exciting exhibitions, the National Museum of Korea also stages numerous cultural activities related to relics collection and preservation, research and analysis, academic publications, international cultural exchange programs, concerts, and more.
To make the museum experience more pleasant and enjoyable, the museum provides docents to give tours in six different languages. And, Children’s Museum will provide entertaining and educating tour for kids. Furthermore, people of all ages have the opportunity to participate in a number of educational events and quality cultural programs specifically designed to suit different groups so that they can learn more about Korea’s numerous relics and works of art. Visitors can also attend fabulous world-class performances and concerts at Yong Theater in the museum.
For those who prefer to simply enjoy the afternoon in the tree-filled park, the museum have a number of environmentally friendly spaces and rest areas adjacent to the museum.
The National Museum of Korea is the most representative and extensive museum in Korea. More than 13,000 of those pieces are always on display in our six permanent exhibition sections, where visitors can examine numerous national treasures of Korea, including Pensive Bodhisattva (Korean National Treasure #78 or #83), Goryeo Celadon Openwork Burner (#95), Ten- Story Pagoda from Gyeongcheonsa Temple Site (#86), and Gold Crown from Silla (#191).
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