Attraction 185 Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea Published on: 26-11-2015
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Why ChangGyeongGung Palace is special ?
Changgyeonggung Palace was built in 1483 by King Seongjong (the ninth king of the Joseon Dynasty) to take care of the wives of the preceding kings. Compared to other palaces, the size of the palace is compact and simple. Changgyeonggung Palaceis connected with Changdeokgung Palace. It's located east of the primary palace of Gyeongbokgung, so it is also referred to as "Donggwol," the "East Palace."
Myeongjeongjeon is the main hall of the palace, where state affairs were held, such as meetings with officials and the reception of foreign envoys. In particular, Myeongjeongjeon represents an outstanding example of seventeenth century Joseon architectural style and is the oldest main hall of any palace. While visiting Changgyeonggung Palace, it is recommended you visit nearby Changdeokgung Palace as well.
Most of the palace buildings were destroyed by the Japanese during the Japanese invasion of Korea in 1592. The main buildings such as Myeongjeongjeon, Munjeongjeon (council hall), Hwangyeongjeon (Hall), Inyangjeon (Hall), Gongsacheong, and Honghwamun (Gate) were rebuilt by King Gwanghaegun (the fifteenth king of the Joseon Dynasty). Additional buildings: Geongeukdang, Jagyeongjeon, Wolgeunmun were constructed by subsequent kings of the Joseon Dynasty. During the Japanese occupation, the Japanese built a zoo on the site and renamed the palace "Changgyeongwon," meaning "Changgyeong Garden." Since 1987, the palace has been reconstructed and now resembles its original form.
What to explore at ChangGyeongGung Palace?
Past the entrance of Changgyeonggung Palace, the Honghwa Gate, you will find Okcheon Bridge. All palaces of the Joseon Dynasty have ponds with an arch bridge over them, just like Okcheon Bridge. Cross Okcheongyo Bridge, pass the Myeongjeong Gate, and you will find Myeonjeongjeon. This is the office of the King, and Myeongjeongjeon is the oldest of the Joseon Dynasty palaces. The houses face southwards, but Myeongjeongjeon faces the east. Because the ancestral shrine of the royal family are located in the South, the gate couldn't face the south as the Confucian custom. There are stones with the status of the officials carved on the yard. Behind Myeongjeongjeon on the upper left side is Sungmundang. This building utilizes the slope of the mountain. If you look at Myeongjeongjeon and Munjeongjeon, the combination of the high and low roofs offers a beautiful view.
Tongmyeongjeon was built for the queen. It is the biggest building in Changgyeonggung Palace, and you can recognize the delicate details of its structure in various parts of the building. Walk up the stones past Tongmyeongjeon and there you will find Jagyeongjeon. On the southeast direction of the Jagyeongjeon is the Punggidae. This Punggidae is a measuring instrument. It is a long pole with a cloth hung at the end, used to check the speed and direction of the wind. If you head north there is a large pond called Chundangji. Half of the pond was originally a rice field that the King took care of. But during the Japanese Occupation the rice field was changed to a pond with little ships floating on it. And the botanic garden built above the pond still remains today.
How to get to ChangGyeongGung Palace?
Hyehwa Station (Seoul Subway Line 4), Exit 3.
Go 20m and then turn left at Seoul Jongno Pharmacy (서울종로약국).
Go 180m and then turn left at Jeongmin Onnuri Pharmacy (정민온누리약국)
Go 200m and then turn left.
Go 60m and then cross the road to arrive at Changgyeonggung Palace.
- Excellent, especially with the Reenactment
- A palace in a botanical park
- Dower palace with unusual layout
- Beautiful palace and garden!
- One of the best palace in Seoul
185 Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Tips for you
The palace served as the residence for three dowager queens so when you look up to the ceiling in the throne hall, there is a pair of phoenix , unlike the other 3 palaces where you see a pair of dragons. As with the other palaces, first you enter through the main entrance where the ticketing office is, then you go through the door leading to the Throne Hall. In the big open courtyard, there are 2 rows of stone markers where court officials had to stand according to their ranking and waited to meet the king. The Throne like in the other palaces is the place where kings are crowned, met foreign envoys and court officials to conduct affairs of the state. There are many tall pine trees so it is very cooling walking in the park after visiting the Throne Hall. You would not miss the octagonal seven storied stone pagoda and the Chungdangji pond.walking further to the back, you would not fail to see a white wooden building, the botanical glass house. Going inside, you will be impressed by the many bonsai on display.
If you walk all away up the street directly across from the palace, you'll find awsome vendors from street food to shirts for 5 bucks.