“Korea-Gyeongbokgung-Guard.ceremony-11” by ddol-mang – Flickr.
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Official website: royalpalace.go.kr
Located in Jongno-gu, Northern Seoul, Gyeongbokgung (Gyeongbok Palace) is one of Seoul’s most well-known touristic spots, being the largest of the Five Grand Palaces of Korea. Backdropped by the serene landscape of Bugaksan (Mount Bugak), Gyeongbokgung is considered one of the most scenic locations in Seoul.
Originally build in 1395, shortly after the foundation of Korea’s Joseon Dinasty (1392-1897), Gyeongbokgung served as the capital’s main royal palace until it was burnt down during Japanese invasions in 1592. The Korean royal family had the palace rebuilt in the 19th century, but it was not long until it was demolished once again during the Japanese occupation period (1910-1945). No longer under Japanese rule, in the 1980’s the Korean government initiated Gyeongbokgung’s reconstruction project, having rebuilt much of the palace’s original buildings and structures.
Today, some of Gyeongbokgung’s most recognizable attractions include Gwanghwamun, the palace’s imposing main gate, Geungjeongjeon, Gyeongbokgung’s throne hall, grandiose and colorfully decorated in vibrant tones, and Hyangwonjeong, the elaborate two-tier pavilion built on an artificial islet in one of the palace’s ponds. Besides its original constructions, Gyeongbokgung grounds are also home to the National Folk Museum of Korea and the National Palace Museum of Korea.
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