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The Remarkable Royal Palaces of Seoul

The changing of the guard ceremony at Gyeongbokgung Palace occurs three times a day and is an elaborate production; there are 5 royal palaces in Seoul but this is the most historically significant

The changing of the guard ceremony at Gyeongbokgung Palace occurs three times a day and is an elaborate production; there are 5 royal palaces in Seoul but this is the most historically significant

The photogenic throne room at Gyeongbokgung Palace is the largest wooden structure in the country and very impressive; inhabitants of Seoul are faced with a high cost of living, for which the city was ranked 6th globally in 2017

The photogenic throne room at Gyeongbokgung Palace is the largest wooden structure in the country and very impressive; inhabitants of Seoul are faced with a high cost of living, for which the city was ranked 6th globally in 2017

The Phoenix throne at Gyeongbokgung Palace was the site for important meetings, receptions and coronations; Seoul is an extremely expensive real estate market, ranked 5th in the world for the price of apartments in the downtown center

The Phoenix throne at Gyeongbokgung Palace was the site for important meetings, receptions and coronations; Seoul is an extremely expensive real estate market, ranked 5th in the world for the price of apartments in the downtown center

The royal palaces in Seoul generally have the same architectural design elements and have similar buildings which are sparsely furnished; there is a graceful harmony to these complexes that I appreciated

The royal palaces in Seoul generally have the same architectural design elements and have similar buildings which are sparsely furnished; there is a graceful harmony to these complexes that I appreciated

This pavilion, surrounded by a lotus pond, at Gyeongbokgung Palace was used for banquets and civil service exams; Seoul had great weather for my visit but does average 25 snow days annually

This pavilion, surrounded by a lotus pond, at Gyeongbokgung Palace was used for banquets and civil service exams; Seoul had great weather for my visit but does average 25 snow days annually

I thought this was beautiful and think it was used to burn incense in the throne room at Gyeongbokgung Palace; Seoul is home to the headquarters of 15 Fortune Global 500 companies, including Samsung, LG, and Hyundai

I thought this was beautiful and think it was used to burn incense in the throne room at Gyeongbokgung Palace; Seoul is home to the headquarters of 15 Fortune Global 500 companies, including Samsung, LG, and Hyundai

Gyeongbokgung Palace, built in 1392, is Seoul's number one tourist attraction with dozens of buildings and a couple of good museums; the palace was originally built to house the royal family at the beginning of the Josean dynasty

Gyeongbokgung Palace, built in 1392, is Seoul's number one tourist attraction with dozens of buildings and a couple of good museums; the palace was originally built to house the royal family at the beginning of the Josean dynasty

My large tour group was very cliquish and my least favorite of the many G Adventures tours I've been on; the members weren't very interesting and were either young and into K-pop or elderly and not very active

My large tour group was very cliquish and my least favorite of the many G Adventures tours I've been on; the members weren't very interesting and were either young and into K-pop or elderly and not very active

Changdeokgung Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the best-preserved palace in the city; Donhwamun, dating from 1609, is the oldest palace gate in the city

Changdeokgung Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the best-preserved palace in the city; Donhwamun, dating from 1609, is the oldest palace gate in the city

Changdeokgung's impressive throne room is the most regal of all Seoul royal palaces; the immaculate paintwork and carpentry makes this palace visually stunning

Changdeokgung's impressive throne room is the most regal of all Seoul royal palaces; the immaculate paintwork and carpentry makes this palace visually stunning

This is the colorful entrance to the king's office at Changdeokgung Palace; this palace was home to royalty as recently as 1910 and was occupied by the last king until his death in 1926

This is the colorful entrance to the king's office at Changdeokgung Palace; this palace was home to royalty as recently as 1910 and was occupied by the last king until his death in 1926

I loved the painted ceilings in all of the royal buildings (this is Seonjeong Hall at Changdeokgung Palace); Seoul is noted for its population density, which is almost twice that of New York City

I loved the painted ceilings in all of the royal buildings (this is Seonjeong Hall at Changdeokgung Palace); Seoul is noted for its population density, which is almost twice that of New York City

A library overlooks a lotus pond in the Secret Garden at Changdeokgung Palace; one of Seoul's most photographed sights, it's truly amazing in autumn

A library overlooks a lotus pond in the Secret Garden at Changdeokgung Palace; one of Seoul's most photographed sights, it's truly amazing in autumn

Changdeokgung Palace and its Secret Garden were more enjoyable than Gyeongbokgung because of the much smaller crowds; there is a lot of walking involved in seeing the 78 acres of green space surrounding the palace

Changdeokgung Palace and its Secret Garden were more enjoyable than Gyeongbokgung because of the much smaller crowds; there is a lot of walking involved in seeing the 78 acres of green space surrounding the palace

Unique shutter system at Changdeokgung Palace; 26,000  specimens of a hundred different species of trees live in the Secret Garden and some of the trees behind the palace are 300  years old

Unique shutter system at Changdeokgung Palace; 26,000+ specimens of a hundred different species of trees live in the Secret Garden and some of the trees behind the palace are 300+ years old

Changdeokgung Palace was completed in 1412 and was the second of Seoul's Royal Palaces; this building was the king's private residence and was later used as a conference hall

Changdeokgung Palace was completed in 1412 and was the second of Seoul's Royal Palaces; this building was the king's private residence and was later used as a conference hall

Tours of the Secret Garden at Changdeokgung Palace get booked up so I wisely bought my ticket in advance online; Taekwondo is South Korea's national sport

Tours of the Secret Garden at Changdeokgung Palace get booked up so I wisely bought my ticket in advance online; Taekwondo is South Korea's national sport

Royal furniture was designed more for the impression it gave rather than comfort; the two major religions in Seoul are Christianity and Buddhism

Royal furniture was designed more for the impression it gave rather than comfort; the two major religions in Seoul are Christianity and Buddhism

Secret Garden pavilion at Changdeokgung Palace;with 8  million passengers per day, Seoul has one of the busiest subway systems in the world and the largest in the world, with a total track length of 940 km (580 mi)

Secret Garden pavilion at Changdeokgung Palace;with 8+ million passengers per day, Seoul has one of the busiest subway systems in the world and the largest in the world, with a total track length of 940 km (580 mi)

This Chinese juniper at Changdeokgung Palace is believed to be 750  years old; Koreans tend to speak very loudly (especially compared to the Japanese) and seem unaware that they are speaking much louder than necessary

This Chinese juniper at Changdeokgung Palace is believed to be 750+ years old; Koreans tend to speak very loudly (especially compared to the Japanese) and seem unaware that they are speaking much louder than necessary

The only building in the Secret Garden at Changdeokgung Palace with a thatched roof; these small pavilions were used by royals to read and today most are still stocked with books

The only building in the Secret Garden at Changdeokgung Palace with a thatched roof; these small pavilions were used by royals to read and today most are still stocked with books

Deoksugong Palace is entered through Daehanmun, a gate on the east side of the complex; this goes against the tenets of feng shui, which would put the entrance on the south side

Deoksugong Palace is entered through Daehanmun, a gate on the east side of the complex; this goes against the tenets of feng shui, which would put the entrance on the south side

Deoksugung Palace originally belonged to Wolsandaegun (1454-1488); it became a proper palace when Gwanghaegun (1575-1641) ascended to the throne and gave this royal residence the name Gyeongungung Palace in 1611

Deoksugung Palace originally belonged to Wolsandaegun (1454-1488); it became a proper palace when Gwanghaegun (1575-1641) ascended to the throne and gave this royal residence the name Gyeongungung Palace in 1611

Junghwajeon Hall, at Deoksugung Palace, was the center of politics during the Korean Empire and served as the backdrop to critical discussions on national affairs among the country’s leaders during the 1900s

Junghwajeon Hall, at Deoksugung Palace, was the center of politics during the Korean Empire and served as the backdrop to critical discussions on national affairs among the country’s leaders during the 1900s

Seokjojean Hall, part of Deoksugung Palace, was completed in 1910 as King Gojong pushed ahead with a program of modernization and reform; this came about after Korea finally opened its ports to other nations

Seokjojean Hall, part of Deoksugung Palace, was completed in 1910 as King Gojong pushed ahead with a program of modernization and reform; this came about after Korea finally opened its ports to other nations

Deoksugung Palace is one of the five grand palaces built by the kings of the Joseon Dynasty; in addition to the traditional palace buildings, there are also forested gardens, a statue of King Sejong the Great and the National Museum of Art

Deoksugung Palace is one of the five grand palaces built by the kings of the Joseon Dynasty; in addition to the traditional palace buildings, there are also forested gardens, a statue of King Sejong the Great and the National Museum of Art

Deoksugung Palace, the last of the five grand palaces to be built. it became the seat of power in 1592; only 2 kings lived here before the seat of power was moved to a different palace

Deoksugung Palace, the last of the five grand palaces to be built. it became the seat of power in 1592; only 2 kings lived here before the seat of power was moved to a different palace

Located at the corner of Seoul's busiest downtown intersection, Deoksugung Palace is famous for its elegant stone-wall road; it is the only palace that sits alongside a series of western style buildings that adds to its uniqueness

Located at the corner of Seoul's busiest downtown intersection, Deoksugung Palace is famous for its elegant stone-wall road; it is the only palace that sits alongside a series of western style buildings that adds to its uniqueness

Jajeongjeon Hall at Gyeonghuigung Palace, completed in 1620, was a hall that was used by the king for meetings with his royal council and also for his own personal use as a living room

Jajeongjeon Hall at Gyeonghuigung Palace, completed in 1620, was a hall that was used by the king for meetings with his royal council and also for his own personal use as a living room

Posted by VagabondCowboy 04:01

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