Thursday, July 16, 2009

Changdeokgung Palace

After having shabu shabu with a couple of my KU friends back at the campus and paht bing su (frozen shaved ice + ice cream dessert with a bunch of fruit, mochi, and red bean on top) at Lovice (oh how I love Anam St.!), we decided to take a taxi to visit the Changdeokgung 창덕궁Palace! Good timing because we arrived just in time for the English tour (and the last tour of the day @ 3:30PM). You aren't allowed to view the palace without going through a walking tour on certain days.[Closed on Mondays, 3,000won for adults for GUIDED walking tour every day except Thursdays from April to Nov -- Thursday NONGUIDED is 15,000/adult)
There are 3 main palaces to visit in Seoul (at least, they're the 3 I consistently saw advertised in tour pamphlets) - I chose this one because we heard it had the most beautiful Korean garden (protected by the UNESCO World Heritage Center). I also heard that it was the most harmonious. Actually Changdeokgung palace is one of the 5 grand palaces that were built by the kings of the Joseon Dynasty (approx. 1412).The palace went through reconstruction a few times due to being burnt to the ground during the Japanese Invasion in the 1590's... and then being under attack later on. But fortunately, it stayed true to its original design.

Only royalty could walk along the middle, upper path. Everyone else had to walk on the lower sides.
This is the throne hall. All the major state affairs happened here (like the coronation of a new king). The little white markings on the sides leading up to the building mark where the officials stood. The lower rankings stood furthest away from the king (closer to where I am taking the picture).
We had a huge group --
The throne.
Apparently the best time to take a picture of this building is early in the morning when the sun rises from behind this building.
It was a hot day.hehe... the royal toilet! The king never had to go to the toilet - the toilet came to him! All he had to do was annouce he had to go, then he would go to the corner of this building and a big pot would be placed through the little doorway and he would do his business. Then it was the servant's job to clean it up after. Nasty!
This was neat -- a sundial type thing! That lady is our tour guide haha -- she had to hold up the speaker the whole time but it still wasn't good enough to accomodate our big group.
Lots of ornate details~This lead to the "secret garden" apparently.Nice architecture~
In the garden! I believe the building behind us = royal libraries.In the servant's quarters?
I believe this was the reading room. So high tech! They lifted up the panels in that way to let light in.
It was a nice tour but because of the size of our group, it went a bit too slowly for me and I couldn't hear everything the tour guide said. The whole tour was about an hour and a half. We had to rush off afterwards to eat dinner and attend the piano recital!
I was finishing off the last bit of unpacking earlier today -- yeekx not enough closet space! Pretty much everything I bought needs to be hung. I think this calls for some closet alternation.

1 comment:

  1. Hi 나타샤
    I'm the owner of webpage
    I have something to tell you so please e-mail me to let me know your email address my mail address is []