Cherished Visit to the Historic Gyeongbokgung Palace
By: Samar Yahya
The perfect adherence to their beautiful and graceful culture, history, and heritage is one of the remarkable characteristics of Koreans. Thus, it gives visitors a variety of historical sites in Korea and Seoul they should never miss.
One of these historical attractions is the important trip to Gyeongbokgung Palace, with its unique aura, that transported me back in time.
The journey starts before you get to the Palace, at stores that rent hanbok, where the initial colours are used to sketch the entire picture before moving on to the Palace itself. We went to a store where everyone picked out a hanbok they liked and had the customary haircut for women created. Many people wearing hanbok and its variations can be seen walking from a hanbok store to the Gyeongbokgung Palace.
A wraparound skirt called chima and a sort of jacket called jeogori worn with a petticoat underneath make up the traditional women’s hanbok. Men’s hanbok includes jeogori and baji, which are loose-fitting pants.
Gyeongbokgung Palace, the seat of administration and residence of the Joseon dynasty rulers, was constructed in 1395. The palace’s name, which is made up of two words that mean “brilliance and fortune,” symbolizes the desire for the dynasty to prosper.
Gyeongbokgung Palace was, however, burned down by fire twice—once in the early 20th century by imperial Japan and once in 1592 during the Imjin War.
The government began a repair project in 1867 after the initial demolition’s remnants stood for more than 270 years. To conserve The Palace’s beauty and grandeur, however, gradual renovations have been performed to rebuild as much of the previously destroyed remnants as possible since the 1990s.
The Joseon dynasty’s monarchs, their family, and the Joseon administration all called Gyeongbokgung Palace home.
You can also take part in and enjoy the royal guard changing ceremony at the main gate, which is held every hour from 10:00 to 15:00, as part of an integrated experience for visitors, where many people are dressed in hanbok.
Since its initial recreation in 1996, the Palace royal guard shifting ritual at the Gwanghwamun area has been a must-see Seoul attraction.
Based on historical data, it replicates the precise guard-changing process that happened during the Joseon period, replete with clothes and weaponry.
The custom of changing guards dates back to the Joseon era, when Gyeongbokgung Palace’s royal guards served as gatekeepers and were in charge of watching over its principal entrances. The opening and closing of Gwanghwamun Gate were the responsibility of the royal guards, who worked in shifts.
Gyeongbokgung Palace Halls:
Geunjeongjeon Hall, which translates to “diligent governance hall,” served as the Joseon dynasty’s throne hall where the king formally granted audiences to his officials and welcomed ambassadors and envoys from other countries. In 1592, the Geunjeongjeon Hall was also destroyed by fire; however, it was rebuilt in 1867 in conjunction with the renovation of Gyeongbokgung Palace.
Sajeongjeon Hall, the primary executive office, is one of more halls.
Gyeonghoeru Hall, also known as the Pavilion, is a venue for significant and unique state dinners. The Joseon dynasty cabinet met in Sujeongjeon Hall, a building south of Gyeonghoeru, which was built in 1867.
The king’s primary residence is an edifice called Gangnyeongjeon Hall. The queen’s primary residence is a building called Gyotaejeon Hall.