Monday, October 1, 2012
A short Metro ride brought us to Gyeongbokgung/Palace Greatly Blessed by Heaven. Today, since we were not dressed in hanbok (traditional dress), we had to pay admission.
This was the first and greatest palace in Seoul. Gyeongbokgung was built in 1395 when King Taejo moved the capital here three years after founding the Joseon Dynasty. There is some confusion as to who actually burned down the palace, but it was destroyed in 1592, along with the other palaces and the Jongmyo Shrine. It was not rebuilt until 1867, and was again demolished during the Japanese occupation.
The Japanese built their Government General building in the area directly in front of Gyeongbokgung. Although this building was used as a capital when Korea gained independence, it was eventually removed when the National Assembly building was constructed. Efforts are being made to restore Gyeongbokgung to its original state.
Starting with Gwanghwamun which was completed in 2010:
Today soldiers and flag bearers in traditional dress stood guard at the gate:
Tamiko at an inner wall gate:
We detoured to the National Folk Museum:
We aren't sure if all the activity was due to the holiday, or if it happened every weekend. There were activities for children including paper origami-type dolls:
We exited Gyeongbokgung through the north gate to see Cheongwadae/the Blue House:
orea, Lee Myung-bak.
Down the street is the Hyoja Fountain: