The Morning Palace

13.11.13

This morning, the sun was shining brightly. A perfect day to spend outside. I decided to see the palace that people said was beautiful to see in the morning, the Changgyeonggung Palace.

I took metro to Hyehwa station. It was a short distance from the metro station. At first I was not sure about the way to the palace. It was a residential area with cute shops such as this one:20131113_102543Then, at the end of the road there was a wider road with the National Science Museum located across the street. I crossed the street and went to the left. Next to the museum was the entrance to the palace.20131113_102750CIMG2006I bought the entrance ticket (KRW 1,000) and passed the main gate (Honghwamun). After the gate, there’s a small stream and a stone bridge (Okcheongyo bridge) to cross it.CIMG2007After crossing the bridge, there’s the second gate (Myeongjeongmun).IMG_8444 I turned around and took this picture of the main gate from inside the courtyard:IMG_8445After passing the second gate, you would see a big inner courtyard with stone floor. There were small stones on the floor, marking the place to stand according to the officer ranks. At the end of the courtyard was the main hall (Myeongjeongjeon).IMG_8447 20131113_104723IMG_8448IMG_8451 Circling the courtyard, there were corridors with roof and wood pillars:20131113_104744IMG_8450IMG_8449The main hall was the formal reception area where the King met his guests.IMG_8457 IMG_8456IMG_8460

These two little girls told their father to take their picture while they’re posing as Queens in front of the main hall (^_^).IMG_8458IMG_8461Behind the main hall, there were a smaller building called Sungmundang, used by the King to study or held meetings with the scholars, aka his office.CIMG2010CIMG2011IMG_8466IMG_8465CIMG2012There’s a pavilion called Haminjeong where the King honored the government officials who got the highest scores at the exams.CIMG2013IMG_8464IMG_8462At the inner palace, there were several buildings. The most important ones were 3 buildings that were used as the sleeping quarters for queen dowagers and for the King & Queen. The sleeping chamber for the King & Queen was called Hwangyeongjeon (Hall of Happy Celebration). The union of a married couple should be a happy one, shouldn’t it? kekekekeke.CIMG2014 Hwangyeongjeon (the King & Queen’s sleeping chamber):IMG_8463IMG_8468 Gyeongchunjeon (the queen dowager’s sleeping chamber):IMG_8469 The third sleeping quarter, Tongmyeonjeon was also used by King & Queen. Another building, next to it, called Yanghwadang was used by a queen dowagers.CIMG2016IMG_8470There’s a small pond on the left side of Tongmyeongjeon. There’re coins on the stone lotus. It’s not recorded when people started tossing coins onto the pond.IMG_8471

Behind the building, there’re several chimneys to let out the smoke that came from the floor heating system (Ondol). IMG_8473IMG_8476

Inside the inner palace, there’s also a building for the concubines. Well, there’re certainly not a lot of entertainment options around back then ^_^. It’s handy to keep them nearby.CIMG2017IMG_8475IMG_8477

Behind the Tongmyeongjeon there were steps and this was the view of the palace from the elevated level: CIMG2018 On that level, there were several artifacts, it’s like an open-air museum. CIMG2019CIMG2020 CIMG2021 CIMG2022 CIMG2023From this point, on one side was a road heading to the neighboring palace: Changdeokgung and on the other side…..I thought there was just a garden….but I was wrong. There’s a botanical garden with a beautiful Glass House. Arrrggghhhhh…..I wished to see them…..why did I found out about it after I left the country T_T. Another lesson: study the place that you want to visit so you’ll know what to look for at the place and where to find them.

 

 

 

 

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