South Korea, Gyeongbok Palace

South Korea, Gyeongbok Palace

The Gyeongbok Palace, also called the Gyeongbokgung Palace, is the main and largest royal palace of the Joseon era. The palace was built in 1395 and is located in the northern part of the city of Seoul. The royal family lived in Gyeongbokgung, which is considered to be the largest of the Five Great Palaces built during the Joseon era. The name of the palace from the Korean language translates as “the palace of radiant happiness.”

Gyeongbokgung continued to be the main palace for the Joseon Dynasty until the beginning of the Imda War. During this war, the buildings of the complex burned down in a fire, and the complex itself was abandoned for about two centuries.

However, in the XIX about 6000 rooms of the palace complex were restored under the guidance of Prince Regent Li Haen, during the reign of Emperor Kojon. In addition, the remaining structures (about 330) that were located on the territory of 40 hectares were reconstructed. However, in 1895 armed Japanese attacked the palace and killed Empress Ming. Soon after these sad events, Emperor Kojon left the palace and did not live there anymore.

Gyeongbok Palace

Unfortunately, at the beginning of the 20th century, many buildings from the palace complex were destroyed by the Japanese. For example, in 1911, 10 buildings were demolished, and in their place the house of the Governor-General of Korea was built. In the same building from 1928 to 1945 was the Japanese administration.

In 1989, the government began the reconstruction of the palace complex. By the end of 2009, about 40% of the buildings were restored.

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The raisins of the palace complex are the throne room of Gyeongjuonjon and the pavilion of Gyeongvere. The Gyeongweru pavilion is located in the middle of an artificial lake and stands on 48 granite columns. Particularly beautiful is the pavilion, when the lotus blossoms and the whole lake is covered with flowers. Both the hall and the pavilion are listed in the national treasures of Korea.

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