After visiting Jongmyo, I ate lunch in Insa-dong, and then walked to Gwanghwamun Square to the entrance of the only other palace which is open on Mondays, Gyeongbokgung.
Gyeongbokgung is between downtown Seoul and the ‘Blue House’ – i.e. the residence of South Korea’s president. In other words, it is in one of the most powerful neighborhoods in all of South Korea.
Gyeongbokgung was once the principal palace of the Joseon royal family. It fell into disrepair after the Japanese invasion in the late 16th century, and another palace (Changdeokgung) became the principal palace. However, it was completely restored during the reign of King Gojong in the 19th century.
However, after Japan colonized Korea, they destroyed all but 10 of the over 300 buildings in the palace, and built the General…
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