Royal Palaces

Changdeokgung (Palace)

Changdeokgung (Palace)

If the palace walls of Changdeokgung could talk, visitors would probably listen in on tales of court intrigue, plotting eunuchs, and feuding royalty. Instead, through a well-informed tour guide, you will be educated on the form and function of the now-empty palace buildings scattered across acres of land in the middle of bustling Seoul.

The buildings have remained largely intact over six centuries and served as a backdrop for the last chapters of the Joseon period (1392-1910). Korea’s last emperor Sunjong passed away on these grounds in 1926, and it’s commonly known that members of royal descendants lived in Nakseonjae, a cluster of unpainted palace buildings well into the late ‘80s. The entry gate to the grounds, Donhwamun, is a two-story structure dating back to the 15th century.

Meanwhile, the Eochago or the Royal Garage carries a precarious display of automobiles used to transport the royal family in the era of Henry Ford. Although your English-speaking guide will give details on major palace buildings, the Injeongjeon remains a focal point of tour interest. It’s the second largest wooden building in Korea and features Daehanjeguk-period chandeliers with golden silk fringes as well as four-meter long silk window curtains. The pristine Biwon preserves the finer aesthetics of the Korean garden. English tours take place daily at 11:30 am, 1:30 pm, and 3:30 pm. Admission is 3,000 won for adults, 1,500 won for children.

[2007-01-11 09:23 Input / 2011-04-04 13:16 Modify]