Sunday, June 9, 2013

Aloha to the Gyeongbok Royal Palace

Haechi, a mythical creature, is the symbol of Seoul.  He wards off fires ... and guards the Gyeongbok Royal Palace.  From Visit Korea (link),

Built in 1395, Gyeongbokgung Palace is also commonly referred to as the “Northern Palace” because it is the furthest north when compared to the neighboring palaces of Changdeokgung (Eastern Palace) and Gyeongheegung (Western Palace). Gyeongbokgung Palace is arguably the most beautiful and remains the grandest of all five palaces.

We arrived just in time for the "changing of the guard" ceremony.

My husband stayed outside the gate to record the ceremony ...

... while the boys I and soaked up the colors inside the gate.

The guide shared with us that the colors represented rank, thus the palace would have the most colors. 

Dancheong is the Korean word for the coloring scheme - here's a link to more information. 

Of course, the king's Throne Room would have the most colors and patterns.

Notice the screen behind the throne - it depicts the five mountains that surround Seoul.   The king is the sun in the east and the queen is the moon in the west.   This screen must always be placed behind the king when he holds courts.  Perhaps the other palaces have these screens and maybe the Royal Logistics Officer has a portable one, too!

The buildings are protected by the animals on the roof line.

Here is the "meeting hall" where the king would greet dignitaries from other countries.

The palace is a series of buildings for official and private affairs.   The guide pointed out this intersection of buildings!

Adjacent to the palace is the National Folk Museum.  We were sitting in the shade when a merry band of performers appeared in the plaza.

They were amazing in playing instruments and dancing with the ribbons on their hats.

We walked through the gardens, where the king often retreated from the busy court.   My pictures cannot adequately capture the beauty of the Gyeongbok Royal Palace.


Kim in Korea


  1. Had no idea the Haechi is the symbol of Seoul.

  2. Fascinating pictures. Thanks

  3. I love all the colors and the very cool building designs :)

  4. Your posts are so informative, and the pictures wonderful. Thanks.

  5. I think your pictures get about as close as possible to really being there!

  6. Those photos are lovely. Thanks for sharing, Kim.