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Historical Seoul. "Five big palaces"

Uritsk Andrey • 4 minutes read • May 15th, 2016
The main historical sight of 


are five big palaces built during the Joseon dynasty governing in Korea from 1392 to 1897. These palaces are called 



, Deoksugung, Gyeongbokgung, and Gyeonghuigung and represent enormous palace complexes with the ceremonial gate, bright facades, ritzy interiors, parks and surprisingly beautiful gardens.
We won't start with palaces, but with the ancient city gate. Gate Namdaemun (or Great Southern gate) is one of the oldest national monuments of Korea dated 1398. The story of this historical gate is sad. Being the oldest wooden building in Seoul for over 600 years and enduring both the Japanese occupation and the Korean war, it burned down the night of February 11, 2008. The national property was burned down by a 60-year-old resident of Seoul angry with local authorities which didn't help him to resolve his issue regarding real estate compensation. Present gate Namdaemun was restored with the help of ancient technologies, by means of traditional materials and methods. It opened again in 2013.
1-seoul-historical.jpgThe second gate which was at the eastern entrance to the old city is called Heunginjimun (Big Eastern gate). This gate, as well as Namdaemun, were constructed in 1398, but they have also undergone the restructuring in 1453, and got to its current shape at the end of the 19th century.
2-seoul-historical.jpgAnd now we will return to palaces. Initially constructed in the years 1400-1600, "five big palaces" were then repeatedly reconstructed, but the considerable part of the structures remained original to this day. Especially surprises the fact that all these palaces are wooden! Even despite a rather compact arrangement in the historic center of Seoul, it is hardly possible to see all of them in one day. I managed to see only three and a half. :) In this post there are many bright photos and there are almost no descriptions: after an active and very eventful 8-day excursion program in Northern Korea, I just wanted to wander around Seoul and enjoy antiquity with no rush, to spend time in green pine parks during a hot day, inhaling resinous aroma of needles and not to bother with any historic facts. Let's admire "Five big palaces" of Seoul.
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Source: uritsk.livejournal.com
Translated by: Vera Lungol

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