Gyeongbokgung, also known as ‘Gyeongbokgung Palace’ or ‘Gyeongbok Palace’, is a royal palace located in northern Seoul, South Korea. First constructed in 1394 and reconstructed in 1867, it was the main and largest palace of the Five Grand Palaces built by the Joseon Dynasty. The name of the palace, Gyeongbokgung, translates in English as “Palace Greatly Blessed by Heaven.” The nearest subway station is Gyeongbokgung Station (Station #327 on Line 3) and the palace is also easily accessible by bus or on foot near Gwanghwamun Square.
Upon arrival at the Gyeongbokgung Station you will see a wide array of historical Korean/Chinese prescripts as you exit the station and walk towards the palace, you are greeted by the Heungnyemun Gate and the National Palace Museum of Korea. The Gwanghwamun Gate from the Joseon Dynasty is an iconic feature of Seoul and is at the northern tip of Gwanghwamun Square in the Sejong Belt area. It has gone through numerous reconstructions and restorations in its history, most recently in 2010.
On my second visit to Gyeongbokgung, there was a music and dance ceremony performance on the weekend. I had two friends bring me to experience some first-hand Korean culture. Not surprising, the place was filled with people eager for the chance to experience the local culture of dance and music as replicated from the historical past of the country.
Personally, I thought the Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul was one of the most beautiful palaces I have been to. Inside its fortress walls lies a garden of tranquility that is nestled peacefully with the surroundings of hanok-styled buildings once occupied by the emperors, their family, and ofcourse the workers as well. More on this in the future as I finally got to set foot inside the palace during the night-time visit and I was truly amazed by its beauty even more so.