As you may know, in 2023, In Sha Allah Jomventures will open new trip to South Korea. Exciting right?! Personally, I love Korean arts, cultures and traditions, and of course their language. But! The most thing I love about Korea is their hanok (한옥) palaces. Even I only just see its virtually far away here in Malaysia but I keep on falling in love with the structure of the hanok(s). The palace is an attraction you can’t miss if you ever travel to Seoul. Even if you’re not interested in getting a history lesson, there is so much more to this palace than its history. Rich in culture and heritage, these opulent palaces were once the homes of royalty in the Joseon dynasty (1392 – 1910). Visiting them will surely bring you back to the past whereby you can witness how the kings and queens used to live. Besides looking at it from a historical viewpoint you can see how these palaces in South Korea have changed over time to integrate into modern society.
GyeongBokGung consists of a throne hall, monarch’s residence (강녕전), gardens and pavilions. It is the biggest and most stunning palaces out of all the Joseon (조선) palaces. It emphasizes the palaces’s auspicious and affluent (풍족한) nature with colors of ruby jade where the National Palace Museum of Korea, National Museum of Korea, and the National Folk Museum are on these grounds.
Many Joseon dynasty kings (임금) has their main residences here. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (유네스코 세게유산). The palaces was built according to pungsu (풍수) with the topography in mind. The palace’s main building faces south, while the hidden garden (비원) faces north. The buildings in the complex were arranged according to Confucian principles both practically and symbolically.
It was originally built by King Sejon (세종대왕) for his father King Taejong (태종). It was formerly known as SuGangGung (수강궁) and was connected to ChangDeokGung (창덕궁). This palace is quite small compared to the other royal palaces. This palace was often served as the residential quarters for queens (중전) and concubines (후궁). It also has a Grand Greenhouse inside.
DeokSuGung wasn’t classified as a loyal palace at first. It was initially a residential home of Grand Prince Wolsan (월산대군). However, the royal family’s home was burned down during the Imjin War (임긴왜란). So, they had to relocate to this area. It is famous for its elegant stone-wall road an integration of European architecture within the complex.
It is youngest palace among all and was known as the King’s emergency palace (방공호). It is not as famous as the other palaces, but is still ideal to visit as you can appreciate the authentic Korean architecture (건축물) too. On the palace grounds, you can find the Seoul Museum of History (서울역사묽관) and the GyeongHuiGung Annex Building of the Seoul Museum of Art (시립미숡관).
When you travel to Korea, you should definitely include at least one of these royal palaces in your itinerary, if not more. Walk around the palace grounds, peek into former royal residences, and see what life in Korea was like for those at the top. I would like to recommend purchasing the Royal Palace Pass for only ￦10,000 that grants you access to four palaces; Gyeongbokgung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace, Changgyenggung Palace, Deoksugung Palace, and Jongmyo Royal Shrine. Access to Gyeonghuigung Palace is not included, as it is free to visit. Hoping you will enjoy the Hanok Palaces as much as I enjoy it!!