The Deoksu Palace served as the King’s residence through the past history of Korea from the 1500’s to the early 1900’s. The compound of the palace was some 3 times larger than it is today, encompassing the whole area around the present City Hall, Seoul Plaza and Jeong-dong area. Today, Deoksu Palace have revitalized several of the historic structure and nearby areas for locals and tourists to enjoy the beauty and tranquility of a palace within an urban city.
The admission like the other palaces is really affordable and cheap 1000KRW which is less than $1 USD/CAD and is opened 09:00 – 21:00 and closed every Monday. There are also a number of tours conducted in different languages throughout the day and the palace is easily accessible by bus or the subway at City Hall Station (Line 1- exit 2, or Line 2- exit 12) across directly from Seoul City Hall.
Located within the complex are the many buildings like Daehamun, Junghwamun, Junghwa-jeon, Hamyeong-jeon, and Deokhong-jeon to name a few. More recently, there is a more of a western modern architecture at the Seokjo-jeon and the west wing on Seokjo-jeon; which was under revitalization when I first visited in 2012 but have since been revitalized now in 2015 and is used as a Art Museum. The columns resemble those found in Athens and displays modern luxury. Additionally, near the entrance is a garden featuring lush green foliage, trees, and sitting areas to relax and to enjoy the scenery.
By the time we finished exploring the palace complex it was time for the change of guard, similar to what they have at the other palaces in the city as well as other Asian cities I have visited. Like I’ve said, it’s always great just to witness such events and take in as much (Korean) culture while traveling, and I am truly amazed at the way in Korea preserves its long lasting history and culture through this day and beyond. Lastly, at the entrance, similar to Gwanghwamun Square, tourists and locals are welcomed to try on traditional hanbok clothing similar to those of emperors and kings of the past era which I didn’t pass up the chance to.