Welcome back as I continue my USO Tour of the Historic Sights in Seoul. After visiting the Jogyesa Temple, our tour continued to the largest of the five Palaces located in Seoul, Gyeongbokgung Palace. Built in 1395, it was the first royal palace built by the Joseon Dynasty in the newly appointed capital of Hanyang, (which is now known as Seoul). The Palace served as the Royal residence until several Japanese invasions between 1592-1598 that caused severe damage. Almost 300 years later in 1868 the palace was reconstructed and expanded to a complex that included 500 buildings. But the Japanese invaded again and destroyed the palace again during the years that they occupied Korea (1910-1945). Starting in 1990, the Korean government began a 40 year project to rebuild and restore the buildings that were destroyed during the Japanese occupation…so they are just a little over 1/2 way there.
This is an inside view of the gate, called Gwanhwamun Gate that serves as the entrance to the Palace grounds. Continue reading