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Gyeonghuigung Palace: Royal Villa For The King Of Korea

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Gyeonghuigung Palace was one of the five grand palaces built during the Joseon Dynasty. When the king went on daily trips, it was used as a second royal villa. It was also used as a place to hide when there was trouble. Ten kings lived at this spot for more than 200 years.

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Image Courtesy: visitseoul.

The king and the royal council held meetings and gave speeches in Sungjeongjeon Hall and Jajeongjeon Hall. When the king had free time, he would use these halls as his own living room. Near the front door of the Seoul Museum Of History, a small bridge called Geumcheongyo crosses the Geumcheon stream.

By the early 1900s, Gyeonghuigung Palace was made up of about 100 buildings. Most of the buildings during the Japanese occupation of Korea were destroyed or moved to make room for schools for Japanese children.

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Image Courtesy: visitseoul.

In the 1990s, work began rebuilding the old royal residence and returning it to its former glory. Even though many of the gates and halls have been fixed up since then, it still doesn’t look like it did when it was first built. The area was opened to the public again in 2002.

What to see at Gyeonghuigung Palace

Geumcheongyo Bridge


Geumcheongyo Bridge was made of stone in 1619, when Gwanghaegun was king. It crosses a stream near the entrance to the Seoul Museum of History. Geumcheon is the name of the stream that flows between the bridge and Heunghwamun, the palace’s front gate.

Heunghwamun Gate


Gyeonghuigung Palace’s main entrance is called Heunghwamun Gate. When it was first built, it faced east and was right where the Salvation Army building is now. During the Japanese occupation in 1932, the gate was moved to a place of worship called Bangmunsa, which was named for Ito Hirobumi.

Heunghwamun Gate was moved in 1988 to its current location and designated as Seoul Tangible Cultural Property Number 19.

Jajeongjeon Hall


The king met with his royal council and used Jajeongjeon Hall as his own living room. In this building, the king met with his people and oversaw competitions in the arts and sciences.

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Moon Rock


Behind Taeryeongjeon Hall is a large rock formation called Seoam Rock. It is known for its shape and for the natural fountain inside it called Amcheon. It used to be called Wangam, which means “King’s Rock.” People think that King Gwanghaegun built Gyeonghuigung Palace here because of this name.

Sungjeongjeon Hall


The main hall of Gyeonghuigung Palace is Sungjeongjeon Hall. Here, the king would hold many meetings and ceremonies in the morning. The hall was also used for royal dinners and receptions for important foreign visitors and officials.

Taeryeongjeon Hall


In the back corner of Gyeonghuigung Palace is where Taeryeongjeon Hall is. It has a picture of King Yeongjo, who was king from 1724 until he died in 1776. At first, this building wasn’t used for anything in particular.

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Image Courtesy: visitseoul.

In 1744, in Yeongjo’s 20th year as king, it was fixed up so that his portrait could be shown. This is special because Yeongjo gave his own portrait while he was king. In other halls, like Seonwonjeon Hall at Changdeokgung Palace, portraits of past kings were kept.

More Info About Gyeonghuigung Palace

Location: 45 Saemunan-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Opening Hours:

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Weekday hours are from 9am to 8pm.
Weekends: 10:00-18:00
Admission\sFree

How To Get There:
Get off at the Seodaemun Station on Subway Line 5. (Exit 4).
After getting out, keep going straight and turn right when you get to the Naeil Newspaper Office.
Continue for 10 minutes.

Jacque is a travel, food and lifestyle blogger. At the age of 20, she started exploring instagrammable places, discovering fascinating cultures, trying various cuisines, and taking amazing photos from local and international travel destinations. Alongside her adventures, she passionately creates Hallyu content.

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