What do yo know about «A Palace of Shining Happiness»?
South Korea is a country and museum at the same time. Here you can walk along the streets and enjoy unusual constructions, buildings and green parks. You can enjoy modern constructions and historical places located close to each other.
South Korea has an enormous cultural and historical heritage. Unfortunately, not all these historical monuments could survive till today, and some of them were reconstructed or restored recently. But, many historical places were rearranged to the museums, so people can visit it and learn about Korea more. In this post I will introduce to you one of the oldest historical heritage — Gyeongbokgung Palace (경복궁)
Many people call this palace ‘Gyeongbokgung’, however, it is not so correct linguistically. The ending ‘gung’ (궁) means ‘palace’ from the Korean language. Therefore, the right interpretation of Gyeongbokgung is Gyeongbok Palace. The name of the palace has several meanings. A palace of shining happiness, A palace of sunlight and happiness…
History of A Palace of Shining Happiness
The palace was built in 1395, during the Joseon Dynasty. And it is one of the largest and historically important palaces of that dynasty.
During the Joseon Dynasty 5 royal palaces were built (Gyeongbokgung Palace, Gyeonghuigung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace, Changgyonggung Palace, Doksugung Palace). All of them are located in Seoul. Initially, all of them were connected, but today all of them are separated.
To the North from the Gyeongbokgung Palace stand huge North Mountains, and to the South from the palace — Gwanhwamun Square.
A short description of the palace
A total square of the palace is 410,000 sq.meters. Initially, there were more than 300 constructions and 5,792 rooms in the palace. There are 4 entrances to the palace: south, north, east, west. The mains gates are South gates or Kwanghwamun gates, and they also lead to the Gwanhwamun Square. These gates are protected by the royal guardians. In reality, an era of royal family and royal guards stayed in the history, and today there is a president family and president security, But, these royal guardians are a peace of the touristic promotion. Also, in front of the main gates, you can see 2 big stone monuments of the mythical animals similar to the dog or lion.
There is a guard’s change ceremony twice a day. First one is at 9.35 AM, and the second one is at 13:35. But check the schedule on the palace website before visiting, because the time schedule can be changed.
Entrance to the palace
A only king could enter the palace through the main gates. The western and eastern gates were used by high-positioned official and aristocracy. The North gates were for serving personal. Today there is a president residence or Blue house (Chonwadae) behind the palace.
The entrance to the palace is not free. The adult ticket costs 3 dollars, and ticket for children costs 1,5 dollars. But if you wear Korean traditional dress (hanbok), you can enter the palace for free. Every Tuesday palace doesn’t operate.