Gyeongbok Palace (경복궁, "Gyeongbokgung") is a palace located in northern
Seoul, South Korea. It was the main and largest palace of the Joseon Dynastyand one of the " Five Grand Palaces" built by the Joseon Dynasty.
The palace was originally constructed in 1394 by
King Taejoand "Gyeongbokgung" was named by minister Jeong Do-jeon. Gyeongbokgung was continuously expanded during the reign of King Taejong and King Sejong the Great, but part of the palace was burnt down during the Japanese invasions of Korea (1592-1598).
During the regency of
Daewon-gunin 1867, the buildings were reconstructed and formed a massive 330-building complex with 5,792 rooms. Standing on 4,414,000 square feet (410,000 square meters) of land, it was a symbol of majesty for the Korean people and the home of the royal family. In 1895, after the assassination of Empress Myeongseongby Japanese agents, her husband, Emperor Gojong left the palace and the imperial family would never return.
In 1911, the government of
Japandemolished all but 10 buildings during the period of Japanese occupation, constructing the Japanese General Government Building for the Governor-General of Koreain front of the throne hall.
At the end of the Second World War, major buildings on the site included Geunjeongjeon, the Imperial throne room (national treasure number 223), and Gyeonghoeru Pavilion (national treasure number 224), which stands in an artificial lotus lake, resting on 48 granite pillars. The pavilion is depicted on the 10,000
Today the palace is open to the public, and houses the
National Folk Museum of Korea. The National Museum of Koreawas there too, until it was relocated to Yongsan-guin 2005.
Archaeological work has brought 330 building foundations to light. The main gate to the palace, called
Gwanghwamun, is now being restored to its original state, to be completed in 2009.
The Blue House
The back garden of the palace used to contain the main part of the Governor-General's residence during the Japanese era. With the establishment of the Republic of Korea in 1948, President
Syngman Rheeused it as his office and residence. In 1993, after President Kim Young-sam's civilian administration was launched, the Japanese governor-general's residence in the Cheong Wa Dae compound was dismantled to remove a major symbol of the Japanese colonial occupation.
National Folk Museum of Korea
List of Korea-related topics
History of Korea
* [http://www.cha.go.kr/english/royal_palaces/Gyeongbokgung.jsp?catmenu=ES_04_04 Official guide from Cultural Heritage Administration]
* [http://www.lifeinkorea.com/Travel2/seoul/66 Gyeongbok Palace]
* [http://english.president.go.kr/warp/en/tour/places/sugungto.php Official Blue House history summary]
* [http://blmtseoul.com.ne.kr/KBK/KBK-Index.htm 영이]
* [http://www.andycarvin.com/archives/2005/06/royal_gate_cere.html Video of Royal Gate Ceremony, Gyeongbokgung]
* [http://www.jennyhouse.info/korea The Architecture and Skyscraper Community of Korea (English translated)]
* [http://labs.live.com/photosynth/view.html?collection=sanmarco/index1.sxs Photosynth view of Gyeongbokgung showing the palace and surrounding areas in three-dimensional space (plugin required)]
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