Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Gyeongbokgung Palace

Gina (above) arrived at my hotel in Myeong-dong from Busan late on Thursday, September 17. She took an extra day off from her rigorous schedule teaching English to young Korean students, stretching her weekend to three days so that we could do a bit of sightseeing in Seoul together. First stop: Gyeongbokgung Palace.

At one time, the Gyeongbokgung Palace was likely a place of pomp and circumstance.

Today, the uniformly brown buildings with a dirt compound in front may leave visitors with the impression that the site is undergoing restoration work.

The Gyeongbokgung Palace was the country's principal royal residence until the compound was destroyed in 1592 during war with Japan.

However, it was not the Japanese who razed the palace but the citizens of Seoul.

As the Japanese marched across the country, the king and yangban (aristocrats) abandoned the city to save their own hides.

Angered by the desertion, a mob of local residents burned down the palace.

Gyeongbokgung lay in waste for nearly 300 years until it was rebuilt it 1865.

Today, Gyeongbokgung Palace has been restored to its former glory. Adjacent to the palace, the Seoul Museum of History provides visitors with an overview of Seoul's history and traditional culture.

A ceremonial changing of the guard (below) occurs several times a day, so clearly the pomp and circumstance has returned to Gyeongbokgung Palace.


Anonymous said...

Dude you missed a great shot of an Oregon Ducks T-shirt
in here.. That would be great for the UofO
Magazine... What a shame.. Nice photos..

Gonzo said...

Hey, Frankie, that IS a UO t-shirt!