Category Archives: Royal Palace



Gyeonghuigung Palace was completed after an extended period of construction, during the 12th year of the reign of Gwanghaegun (1620). After the Japanese invasion in 1592, Changdeokgung Place was used as the residence of the king, while Gyeonghuigung Palace was used as a detached palace. The palaces were also named according to their geological location: Changdeokgung and Changgyeonggung were called the East Palaces, while Gyeonghuigung was called the West Palace. During its heyday, Gyeonghuigung comprised more than 100 halls, most of which were burnt down in two separate conflagrations, one during the 29th year of the reign of King Sunjo (1829) and the other during the 20th year of the reign of King Gojong. The remaining halls also faced similar fates, as the Japanese colonialists demolished most of them to build schools to educate their children. After the national liberation in 1946, Seoul High School was built on the site, where it remained until 1978. In 1985, several buildings including Sungjeongjeon Hall were restored.

Heunghwamun Gate

Heunghwamun was the main gate of Gyeonghuigung Palace. Originally, it was situated just next to the current Salvation Army Center, facing the direction of Jongno Avenue. When the adjacent road was expanded in 1915, the gate was sold and installed as the main gate of Bakmunsa (now the site of the Shilla Hotel), a shrine dedicated to Ito Hirobumi, the Japanese resident-general. Heunghwamun was restored and moved to the current site in 1985.

Sungjeongjeon Hall

Sungjeongjeon, the main hall of Gyeonghuigung Palace, was moved into Jogyesa Temple to avoid harm by Japanese in 1926. It now serves as the Jeonggakwon (Hall of Righteous Enlightenment) of Donguk University. Due to it is too old to move again into old spots, Korea government reconstructed as it was from 1989 at the old site.



1.The Geonchunmun (Gate)

This is the east gate of the Gyeongbokgung palace. Its name, literally “promoting spring”, originates in the ancient belief that the east corresponds with spring. A high stone foundation was constructed with an arch-shaped gate in the center. The arch is 16.5 Ja high and 15 Ja wide according to the linear measure used during the Joseon period.

A tower rests on the foundation. It is divided into three sections, the central one being the largest with 17 Ja and the right and left ones measuring 8 Ja each for a total of 33 Ja in width. The pillars are 8 Ja high. A similar gates were constructed in the west, called Yeongchumun, and in the north, called Sinmumun.

(1) Substructure and Staircase of Geonchunmun (Gate)

Its structure is as follows: the substructure was constructed higher than that of a palace wall. The gate is pierced through by an arch, topped with a tower. When necessary, sentinels climbed up to the tower. They utilized stone staircases, one at the right and the other at left. The staircases incline so steeply that one feels as if he were climbing a ladder. However, railings are installed in consideration of safety.

Leaving the staircase, one reaches a side entrance which is connected with a wall along the edges of the substructure.

(2) Dragon painting on the Ceiling of Geonchunmun (Gate)

Clouds and dragons are drawn in this painting with five colors-blue, red, white, yellow, and black. The Blue Dragon is placed in the east and the Yellow Dragon in the west. Each has five claws and a magic ball in the mouth, which symbolize king.


2.The Geunjeongjeon (Hall)

Geunjeongjeon is the main hall of Gyeongbokgung palace. Kings conducted state affairs, held official functions, and received foreign envoys here. High ranking officials, including military officers, assembled in this court to pay highest respect to their kings. From 1399-1546, seven of twelve kings were enthroned here: Jeongjong, Sejong, Danjong, Sejo, Seongjong, Jungjong, and Myeongjong.

This hall was built in 1394, in the third year of the reign of King Taejo. It was burned down during the Japanese aggression of 1592 and rebuilt in 1867, the fourth year of the reign of King Gojong.

The throne is centered toward the back of the hall. There were ritual objects there, but none remain. The building is a high-ceilinged, structure with a single room.

Formerly there were three consecutive gates south of the entrance, between Geunjeongjeon and the city. Geunjeonmun can be seen in the center of the south corridor. Heungnyemun was torn down to make way for the capital. Gwanghwamun is in the outer wall of the palace, in front of the capital(now being renovated for the new National Museum of Korea). An impressive view of the harmony created between Geunjeongjeon and Bugaksan, the mountain beyond, can be seen from the second pillar from the east end of the south corridor.(National Treasure No.223)

(1) The Inside and Ceiling of Geunjeongjeon Hall

The hall is single-storeyed. Standing on the tiled floor, one can look up at the recessed ceiling. The height of the ceiling and pillars around the hall is imposing, as if to symbolize royal authority. A wooden canopy is located over the throne, The hall once been filled with ceremonial facilities and instruments designed to enhance the dignity of the king sitting on the throne. The throne is the architectural climax of this building.

The latticed ceiling is high up above the floor. It is decorated with traditional Dancheong coloring. A pair of dragons in the clouds struggling for a jeweled ball is carved on the recessed portion in the center of the ceiling. Dragons symbolized kings

(2) Stone Foundations of Geunjeongjeon Hall

The stone foundations, double-tiered in this case, were constructed for the purpose of elevating the Geunjeongjeon hall. The foundations are really broad. The hall was constructed on a layer of stones placed above the stone foundations. Its front court is far broader than the rear court. From the front court, one can command a broad view of the palace. The stone railings are conspicuously lower than the hall itself in consideration of drainage. The location of the Geunjeongjeon hall was a result of a precise calculation. Thorough calculation was needed to divide the palace effectively.

There is a stepping path in the center of the southern side of the stone foundations supporting the Geunjeongjeon hall. There is a narrow stairway on both sides which are capped with big stone covers.

The stone cover is in the shape of a Haetae lying long and flat on its belly. Inscribed on the stepping path is a phoenix with a magic ball in its beak playing in the cloud. The imagiary bird symbolizes the high status of royalty. An arabesque design is carved on the whole surface of the stairway flanking the stepping path. These inscriptions imply that the people lived with royalty above while animals capable of expelling evils like Haetae protected them.


3.The Geunjeongmun (Gate)

Passing by the Gwanghwamun gate, a visitor arrived at the Heungnyemun gate in the center. He was then led to the Yeongjegyo bridge. All these structures were lost when the government-general building was constructed. Remaining now are the Geunjeongjeon hall block and the Geunjeongmun gate.

The two-storey gate usually was closed. Civil and military officials entered the Geunjeongjeon court through the Ilhwamun gate in the east and the Wolhwamun gate in the west.

4.The Sajeongjeon (Hall)

In Sajeongjeon hall, kings carried out daily kingdom affairs. It stands on a three-tiered granite base, 5 kan wide and 3 kan deep. The columns have multi-clustered brackets, the eaves are two-tiered, and the roofs are hipped-and-gabled.

Manchunjeon hall was located to the east of Sajeongjeon hall, and Cheonchujeon hall is to the west. Sajeongmun gate is to the south, Jonghyeonmun gate in the west passageway.

5.Manchunjeon (Hall)

Manchunjeon Hall, which is of the same size and shape as Cheonchujeon Hall, stands to the west of Sajeongjeon Hall. It was destoroyed during the Korean War(1950-1953) and its plinths alone remained on the site. The Hall was rebuilt in 1988. Compared with Sajeongjeon Hall, the architectural method and style of Manchunjeon Hall are simple and restrained.

6.The Cheonchujeon (Hall)

This hall is located west of the Sajeongjeon hall. The hall was constructed to be symmetrical with the Manchunjeon hall in the east and with the Sajeongjeon hall in the center. It was reconstructed together with the Sajeongjeon hall in the fourth year of King Gojong(1867). The Cheonchujeon before the Japanese invasion in the 16th century served as a cradle of Korean culture. King Sejong utilized this building mainly when he discussed various cultural projects with scholars of the Jiphyeonjeon.The Cheonchujeon hall is a small building whose front side measures not more than 24 kan. Its pillars are 9 Ja high, compared with the pillars of the Sajeongjeon hall which are 15 Ja high. This hall followed a simple style in consideration of the fact that the bracket structures of the latter consist of seven inner and five outer structures.

7.The Sujeongjeon

King Sejong constructed the Borugak and the Heumjeonggak south of the Gyeonghoeru and west of the Cheonchujeon. He also built the Jiphyeonjeon. On the site where these buildings were located, King Gojong constructed the Sujeongjeon hall in 1867 after they were burnt during the Japanese invasion in the 16th century. This is the largest among Gyeongbokgung palace buildings in the private quarters that are extant. It is 40 square kan. Its eastern corridor is 13 kan long and its western corridor is 9 kan long.

It was once used as the Office of Gungukgimucheo during the Daehan Empire period. After 1895, it was used as the cabinet office. In the neighborhood, there were many small buildings to accommodate guests, messengers, censors, a dispensary, medical officers, etc. But they were all demolished, and the only Sajeongjeon remains.

8.The Gyeonghoeru

King Taejo, founder of the Joseon kingdom and builder of Gyeongbokgung palace, had this pavilion erected in this man-made lake in the western section of the palace. He named it Gyeonghoeru, or pavilion of Joyous Meeting. It is now the largest elevated pavilion in Korea. King Taejong(r.1400-1418)commissioned Park Ja-cheong to supervise construction on the pavilion and the lake. Minister Park built a square island supported by long stones and construct the larger pavilion. Forty-eight stone pillars, sculptured with dragons, supported the second floor.

Two more islets were made in it. During the Japanese aggression in 1592, the original Gyeonghoeru was burned down, leaving only the stone supports. When Gyoengbokgung was built in 1867, the fourth year of the reign of King Gojong, the pavilion was reconstructed. The pillars were replaced by new ones that lack the splendor of the former. But animals were carved on the stone bridges and railings. There are such stone structures as the Lotus Pond, Lotus Platform, and dragon-shaped conduits along the lake. This pavilion was used for royal banquets during the Joseon period and is used today for special functions.(National Treasure No.224)

(1) Fire-Eaters in Gyeonghoeru

It was believed in the old days that there was a beast which engulfed fire. It resembled an elephant but possessed many features that caused it to be reversed as a deity.

The most dreadful thing for a wooden building is fire. The revered beast was called a Bulgsari. The animal was erected on the stone railings to defend the Gyeonghoeru from any approaching flames. It was perhaps due to the protection of the Bulgasari that the Gyeonghoeru remained intact throughout heavy artillery fire during Korean War. Though struck by the splinters, the animal kept the edifice from a disaster. There are images of various other auspicious animals along the stone bridges.

(2) The Square Pond of the Gyeonghoeru Pavilion

Located to the west of the Chimjeon in which the royal couple led their life, the square pond of the Gyeonghoeru pavilion was made for the purpose of holding a party, enjoying boating, and greeting foreign emissaries visiting the country. The pond is 113m wide and 128m long. There are also three round islands in it. The easternmost and largest of them is connected with the land by three beautiful stone bridges to the grand Gyeonghoeru pavilion. The water of the pond springs up from the underground, and the water from the pond of Hyangwonji flows into the pond through the dragon headed waterway on the eastern bank of the pond, which looks a fall. There is another waterway in the shape of a dragonhead on the northern bank.

According to an ancient chronicle recorded in 1506, to the west of the pond, was the mound of Mansesan with many beautiful flowers and small replicas symbolic of palaces, including Bongnaegung, Ilgung, Wolgung, and Byeogungung, decorated with gold, silver, and silk. The king enjoyed boating on the boat called Hwangyongju in the pond with lotus flowers and coral in it. Sometimes candle lamps in shape of flowers and animals which were decorated with gold and silver, floated on the water in the pond, and incense fires made the pond ad bright as day even at night. To the west and the north of the pond, there were zelkova trees and pinetrees. The square pond of the Gyeonghoeru pavilion is representative of the garden pond constructed in the Joseon kingdom in beautiful, scale, and landscape.


9. The Amisan (Mound)


This is a beautiful rear garden that belonged to the Gyotaejeon or queen’s residence. “Amisan” was named after a famous mountain in China, but it’s not, in fact, a mountain. It is a mound made up of long rectangular stones. It has four-storyed flower terraces in the south. There are fantastic stones, square stone ponds, troughs in shape of a lotus, solar clock stands, a stone structure on the stand in the shape of a turtle, chimneys with floral patterns etc. Peonies, royal azaleas, pine trees, cherrys, etc., are also found on the terraces, and on the upper part, there are pear, mulberry, and zelkova trees, etc.

Built in the flower terraces of the Amisan, the hexagonal chimneys belonged to the Gyotaejeon, or queen’s residence, in front of it. They are some 2.6m high, except for the height of the roof, and about 88cm wide in each side. Every chimney has a smoke-emitting house on the roof. The upper part of the chimneys is decorated with an arabesque design and below bricks decorated with a dragon, crane, bat, and so on are inserted. The bricks are 27cm long and 18cm wide. The middle part is decorated with a pine tree, bamboo, plum, peony, and chrysanthemum patterns, and on the northern lateral side the Chinese character “囍”(Hui)is inscribed. The lower part is adorned with a tiger, bat, crane, etc., which symbolize the king, subject, royalty, wealth, longevity, warding off evil, etc. respectively. The chimneys, laid up of red brick, are in harmony with the other structures in the flower terraces.(Treasure No. 811)

10.The Jagyeongjeon

Jagyeonjeon was the living quarters where Queen Dowager Jo, the mother of King Hyeonjong(r.1834-1849), 24th King of the Joseon period lived. It was built for her by Regent Lee Ha-eung(the Daewongun), father of King Gojong, the 26th King(r.1863-1907) of the Joseon Period. The present quarters were built in 1888 after the original structure were burnt down. This is the only building with a bedroom remaining in Gyeongbokgung palace.

Bogandang, the bed chamber, is situated to the northwest and is heated by Ondol. Cheongyeonnu, a pavilion with elevated floor for use in the summer, is to the southwest. There had been a number of additional, walls, and a two-post gate with roof. All that remains is the wall with the ten symbols of long life and the freestanding chimneys in the rear garden, plus the wall with flower and plant designs in the west.(Treasure No. 809)

(1) Mansemun of Jagyeongjeon

This is the south gate in the southern wing. The gate occupies the span from the 8 to 10th kan from the west among the 30.5 kan of the corridor.


The gate is so arranged as not to give a change to the overall height of the corridor. The gate structure with four entrances covers 3 kan. This style can be found in the Seonpyeongmun gate in the southern corridor in front of the Daejojeon hall in the Changdeokgung palace. This suggests the possibility that a gate of this style may have once served the Gyotaejeon hall, the queen’s residence, adjacent to the Jagyeongjeon. South gates to royal bed chambers were generally in this style.

The gate is so arranged as not to give a change to the overall height of the corridor. The gate structure with four entrances covers 3 kan. This style can be found in the Seonpyeongmun gate in the southern corridor in front of the Daejojeon hall in the Changdeokgung palace. This suggests the possibility that a gate of this style may have once served the Gyotaejeon hall, the queen’s residence, adjacent to the Jagyeongjeon. South gates to royal bed chambers were generally in this style.

(3) The Chimneys of the Jagyeongjeon

On the upper part of the chimneys which are 381cm wide, 236cm high, and 65cm long, there is a dragon and on the right and left side of it, bricks with a crane design are inserted. In the middle there is the sun, a mountain, cloud, rock, pine tree, turtle, crane, the sea, a deer, grape, lotus, bamboo, and an herb which gives immortality to man, etc. On the lower part, there are two Haetae images, and on the right and left side there is a bat and an arabesque design.

The dragon symbolize the king, the crane subject, the sun the rock, and the turtle, etc. longevity, the grapes many offsprings, the bat wealth, and the Haetae waiding off evil.

These are the most beautiful chimneys of the Joseon period that still remain in Korea. (Treasure No. 810)

(4)The Wall of the Jagyeonjeon

The western wall of the Jagyeongjeon, made of yellow bricks, is very beautiful. The rear side of it is decorated with the Chinese character ” 萬壽”(Mansu), a lattice work, a plum, an octagon etc. and the outer side with a peach, chrysanthemum, bamboo, butterfly, lotus etc., from which one may infer how excellently the wall then constructed.


11.The Hamhwadang

Located west of the Jipgyeongdang hall, the Hamhwadang hall is connected with it inside through a 3 kan passage. Its floor space covers 17square kan with a 2.5-kan inner upper structure. There was once a wall in the south with the Gyemyeongmun and Yeongchunmun gates.

The hall was once surrounded by an 8-kan western corridor and an 11-kan southern corridor. There were also fences pierced by two pillar gates called Yeongjimun and Changmumum. But all except this hall have been demolished. This is capped with a half-hipped roof with single eaves.

12.The Jipgyeongdang

Jipgyeondang hall is connected with the Hamhwadang hall in the west through a 3-kan passage. Both the Jipgyeongdang and the Hamhwadang belong to the Heungbokjeon hall ,a royal bed chamber. The Heungbokjeon was once located north of the Amisan hill. North of the Heungbokjeon, there was the Gwangwondang, and farther north, there was the Jipgyeongdang and the Hamhwadang, with the Yeongchundang in the neighborhood. But they all have disappeared, except the Jipgyeongdang and the Hamhwadang, which were used as offices of the museum when the Japanese constructed their government-general building after the Annexation.

The Jipgyeongdang is a building of 28.5 square kan with an inner upper structure. It once had a fence in the north and a two-pillar gate called Eungbokmun.

13. The Hyangwonjong

There was once a hall called Jangandang hall north of the Hamhwadang hall. As the northern corridor of this building was near to the northern palace, one soon reached the Gyemumun, a secret gate to the palace, once one left the corridor. There was the Konnyonggak pavilion east of the Jangandang, and there was the Boksudang hall north of the pavilion. There is a pond south of this hall’s southern corridor, namely, south of the Geoncheonggung palace. There is an isle in the center of the pond. A hexagonal two-story pavilion named Hyangwonjeong perches on the isle. At present we can reach the pavilion through a wooden bridge in the south. But the bridge was once located in the north for crossing the Geoncheonggung palace. The bridge is called Chuihyanggyo.

(1) The Hyangwonji Pond and Chuihyanggyo Bridge

Constructed in 1456, the Hyangwonji pond belongs to the rear garden of the Gyeongbokgung palace. It can be also found in an ancient Korean chronicle. According to the record, the pond was built along with the Chuirojeong pavilion, and lotus flowers were planted in it.

The existing pond was reconstructed in 1873, and the hexagonal pavilion of Hyangwonjeong and Chuihyanggyo bridge were built then. The area of the pond is 4605 square meters.

Waterweeds can be found there along with carp swimming in the pond, by which trees, including zelkova, chinese juniper, maple, pine, oak, pear etc. stand.

On the island in which the Hyangwonjeong pavilion is erected shrubs, including royal azaleas and maple trees grow, and south of the pond, one finds a stone pond with “荷池”(Haji) inscribed on the side and there are also stone tables here.

The water of the pond springs up from the northern hill and the well called Yeolsangjinwon. The pond is at its most spectacular when the Mt.Bugaksan , the pavilion painted in diverse colours, and the wooden bridge are reflected on the water in the pond.


14. The Jaesugak

This is a small building of 14 square kan that once belonged to the Mangyeongjeon hall. Though small, the frontal side measures 7 kan wide. Like other buildings where bed chambers were installed, this one has an entrance in the center 2 kan wide. The right and left sides are shut with windows. The eaves are double and the roof is a half-hipped one. The Dancheong was not applied to this building and the eaves are painted only red, obtaining the effect of being simple.

The building was once surrounded by corridors in the east, west, and south, measuring 11 to 15 kan. But they are all gone.

15.The Yeongchumun (Gate)

If the east symbolizes spring, the west represents autumn. The west gate of the palace was named Yeongchunmun(Gate of Welcoming Autumn). A stream ran outside this gate in the past, but it is covered now and cannot be seen.



1.The Honghwamun (Gate)

Honghwamun, the main of Changgyeonggung palace, faces east as is Myeongjeongjeon hall, the main building of the palace. This gate is believed to have been first built in the 15th year of the reign of King Seongjong(1484) and then burnt down during the Japanese invasion of 1592 and rebuilt in the eighth year of the reign of King Gwanghaegun(1616).

This is typical of the early Joseon architecture, featuring a two-story pavilion 3kan wide and 2kan deep(a kan is a traditional word of length between two columns showing different dimension according to the period), and multi-brackets atop the columns. There are three wood plank doors in the front and crimson arrow-like ornaments above the doors There is a flight of stairs in the northern part of the structure leading to the second story. The second story is wood floored and the ceiling structure is visible from the floor. Walls extend from the gate.(Treasure No. 384)

2. The Okcheongyo (Bridge)

All main halls of the Joseon palaces are approached across a stone bridge over a stream. Okcheongyo is such a bridge for Changgyeonggung palace. This 9.9m long and 6.6m wide bridge was built in 1483. The middle of the bridge is raised for kings to walk on.

The bridge is supported by twin arches. There is a carving of a monster mask between the arches to expel evil spirits. Four pillars divide the railing into five panels on either side of the bridge, and each panel has two openings.(Treasure No. 386)

3.The Myeongjeongmun (Gate)

This single pavilion, 3 kan wide and 2 kan deep, with a hipped-and gabled roof is in the center of the east covered passageway facing Myeongjeongjeon hall. Myeongjeongmun gate is not exactly on the west -east axis of the palace, but is situated 1.2m south of it. Multi-cluster brackets are placed not only on the column tops, but also on the outer tiebeams between the columns. the column plinths are round. A double door is between the columns.

The multi-bracket system and the general architectural style of this gate help us to believe it dates, together with Myeongjeongjeon hall, from the reign of King Gwanghaegun.

4.The Myeongjeongjeon (Hall)

Erected in 1484 during the reign of King Seongjong, this Myeongjeongjeon hall of Changgyeonggung palace was burnt down during the Japanese invasion in 1592 and rebuilt in 1616 during the reign of King Gwanghaegun. Unlike the main halls of Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung, which face south, this one faces the east. This unusual orientation for a Joseon dynasty palace was made because of its terrain.

The single-storied hall with a hipped-and-gabled roof stands on the two-tired Woldae terrace. The plinths of the pillars are square in the lower part and round in the upper portion This 5 kan wide and 3 kan deep hall has multi-cluster brackets on the column tops and outer tie-beams.

Except for the door, the building has latticed windows. Above the windows are low windows with slanted lattice designs to let in the sunlight. In the back of the hall is the throne. A folding screen of the sun and the moon is placed behind and a wooden canopy is above it. There is a recessed ceiling decorated with the Bonghwang phoenix, which was the symbol of immortality and nobility. Lotus designs were painted in Dancheong coloring on the ceiling. A 5 meters-wide stone-paved way leads to the throne hall from Myeongjeongmun gate. It has a 2.4 meter wide raised central portion reserved for kings only. Subjects followed the king on the lower sides. A pair of Bonghwang phoenixes is engraved inside heart-shaped outlines on rises of the center stairs. Stairs are engraved with arabesque, cloud, and Bosanghwa floral designs. Flanking the risers are the mythical Haetae, fire-eating legendary animals, that offer protection from fire. The two-lined stone markers, 24 in all, in front, indicate the positions of attending officials.

5.The Munjeongjeon (Hall)

The present building was completed in 1986 as a part of the reconstruction project of Changgyeonggung palace based on the finding of the excavation and various written records. It was confirmed through the excavation in 1984 that the original building stood on a base 20meters north to south and 18 meters west to east and the base had two stairs in its east and west sides. The restored Munjeongjeon hall is 3 kan wide and as many kan deep, and has square columns and multi-cluster brackets on the column tops.

The single-story building with a hipped-and-gabled roof with double-tiered eaves is 125.4 square meters in floor space and faces the south. The two-tiered flower terrace was built on the sloping terrain to the west of this building, and Munjeongmun gate was erected in the east.

The original Munjeongjeon was built in 1484 by King Seongjong and burnt down during the Japanese invasion in 1592 to be rebuilt in 1616 during the reign of King Gwanghaegun. Judging from Joseonchongdokbu Vol. X, published by the Japanese government-general in 1930, showed the east side of Munjeongjon, the building must have survived until that year.

6. The Gwancheondae (Observatory)

Soganui, a kind of astrolabe, was installed on this astronomical observatory originally erected outside Geummamun gate of Changdeokgung palace in 1688 during the reign of King Sukjong. It was moved here during the Japanese colonial rule (1910-1945).

It is 2.2m high, 2.4m wide and 2.3m deep. Five holes are bored on a stone plate (73.4cm × 52.6cm × 24.5cm) to fix a 99cm tall wind flag. (Treasure No. 851)

7.The Sungmundang(Hall)

This gabled-and-hipped structure with single-winged bracketing was built in 1830, the 30th year of King Sunjo, to replace the one that was earlier destroyed by fire in the same year. It had been built during the reign of King Gyeongjong(r. 1720-1724), the 20th King of Joseon. The front part of this 4 kan wide and 3 kan deep building is supported by five tall square stone pillars making it appear as if it were a raised pavilion. Verandas are provided on the front and the rear and on the south side of the hall.

The inside of the building consists of the central wooden floor and two rooms, on either side of the wooden floor. The signboard and the plaque were written by King Yeongjo, who was a great promoter of scholarship and learning. He used to receive and test university students here, and often held celebrations here in their honor.

8.Binyangmun (Gate)

9.The Haminjeong (Pavilion)

After Inyangjeon hall, built in 1484 during the reign of King Seongjong, was burnt down during the Japanese invasion of 1592, King Injo moved Hamindang pavilion in Ingyeonggung palace to the site of Inyangjeon in 1633, renaming it Haminjeong. King Yeongjo(r. 1724-1776) here received top winners of the national civil and military examinations called Gwageo.

This single-story pavilion has a hipped-and-gabled roof double bird-wing brackets are atop columns. The eaves are two-tiered. The wooden floor inside the inner columns are raised and the ceiling above it is latticed, while rafters are visible from the floor around the raised floor.

10. The Gyeongchunjeon (Hall)


Built in 1483, it was destroyed in the Japanese invasion of 1592, rebuilt in 1616, burnt down in 1830, and rebuilt in 1834, King Jeongjo and King Heonjong were born here. The Chinese characters, over the center, were written by King Sunjo. This single-story building is 7 kan wide and 4 kan deep, and has a hipped-and-gabled roof with two-tier eaves. There are verandas in front and rear. Simple brackets are on the column tops. Latticed doors are installed around the building and latticed windows are above them. The floor is made of wood and the inside ceiling is latticed. Beams are placed between the front and rear inner columns.

11.The Hwangyeongjeon Hall

This royal residence first built in 1484 during the reign of King Seongjong was burnt down during the Japanese invasion in 1592 and was rebuilt in 1616 during the reign of King Gwanghaegun. Burnt up again by a fire of 1830 It was rebuilt for the last time in 1834.

This single-storey building with a hipped-and-gabled roof is 7 kan wide and 4 kan deep and has simple, graceful double-wing brackets atop the columns. The eaves are two-tiered. The floor is wooden, and beams are crossed between the inner and outer columns. Roof rafters are exposed between the outer and inner columns, while the inner ceiling is latticed.

12.The Hamyangmun (Gate)

13.The Tongmyeongjeon (Hall)

This was the main building in the Yeonjo area where kings and their families lived. Like many buildings of the palace, Tongmyeongjeon had been burnt down several times since it was first built in 1484 during the reign of King Seongjong to be rebuilt for the last time in 1834 by King Sunjo. This 7 kan wide and 4 kan deep building has a hipped-and-gabled roof with double-tiered eaves. This building on a single-tier Woldae terrace has a roof without the ridge on top and has simple, graceful double-wing brackets atop columns. Latticed doors are installed all around the building and latticed windows are above them. Tongmyeongjeon has each veranda in front and rear. Except for the north-western section, the inside wooden floor is laid out in a large lattice pattern. The 1984 excavation confirmed that the 4 kan space in the center had originally been rooms where traces of heating flues were found. The ceilings of the inside hall are latticed, while the ceiling above the verandas is papered.

(1)Pond Near Tongmyeongjeon Hall

This square pond is 12.8m long and 5.2m wide. The pond is lined with long square stones and has exquisitely sculptured stone rails. A simple 59.4cm-wide and 256cm-long stone bridge is spanned from west to east. There are two fantastic stones and a lotus-shaped stand in the pond. The water of this pond is drawn into the pond from a fountain 4.6m away to the north. The fountain water cascades down into the pond after traveling a straight stone waterway. According to The Annals of King Seongjong, there had been a copper waterway to bring the fountain water to the pond. (Treasure No. 818)


14.The Yanghwadang (Hall)

Built in 1484 during the reign of King Seongjong, this royal residence was burnt in 1592 during the Japanese invasion of Korea. Rebuilt in 1616, the eighth year of the reign of King Gwanghaegun ( r. 1608-1623), it was again burnt down in 1624, the second year of the reign of King Injo (1623-1649) during the Revolt of Lee Gwal. It was soon rebuilt after the revolt. The present building was built in 1834 after a fire of 1830.

This single-storey building is 6 kan wide and 4 kan deep, and has a hipped-and-gabled roof with double eaves. It stands on a base of long and square stones. The pillars are square and have simple bird-wing brackets on the top. The inside of the building is wood-floored, and there is a 2 kan front veranda. The inner ceiling is latticed, while the rafters are revealed on slanted plastered roof between the outer and inner columns.

15.Former Museum

16. The Punggidae(Treasure No.846)

This wind streamer is believed to have been erected in 1732, the 8th year of King Yeoungjo’s reign. It has a hole on top in which a pole with a long, narrow flag could be fitted for measuring the wind direction and force. The pedestal is 92.4cm high and the octagonal pole is 135.7cm high, which totaled 228.1cm. high. (Treasure No. 846).

17.The Yeongchunheon-Jipbokheon

18.Placenta Burial Marker

19.Placenta Burial Marker

Chundangji, consisting of two ponds, was made in 1909. The smaller pond is 1,107 square meters and the larger one is 6,483 square meters. The 366-square-meter island and the bridge were made in 1984. King Yeonsangun was digging a large pond on the site of Chundangji when he was dethroned in 1506. The site had been used as palace rice paddies until 1909.

20.The Greenhouse

21.The Gwandeokjeong (Pavilion)

22.The Jipchunmun (Gate)

23.The Gwahangmun (Gate)

24.The Wolgeunmun (Gate)

25.The Seoninmun (Gate)



1.The Daehanmun (Gate)

First named Daeanmun and renamed Daehanmun in 1906, this gate is the main entrance of Deoksugung and is said to have stood in front of the Jeunghwamun gate. It was because of city planning that the palace was moved westward from its original position and the walls were also moved back. Daehanmun, like the front gate of Changgyeonggung palace, faces east. It is the only example of a one -story palace front gate. The gate is 3 kan wide and 2 kan deep. The eaves of its hipped-and-gabled roof are supported by multi-cluster brackets. The base and stairs of the gate are now buried underground. The calligraphy for Daehanmun gate was done by Nam Jong-cheol, a high ranking official during King Gojong’s reign.

2. The Geumcheongyo (Bridge)

All royal palaces had a waterway flowing through them and stone bridge over it, Because Deoksugung palace was developed from a private residence rather than originally planned as a royal palace, there is no natural stream to it. Therefore, an artificial waterway was dug and a stone bridge (Geumcheonkyo) was spanned over it. The waterway since has turned into a pond. The bridge has two arches.

3.Jidang (Pond)

4.The Junghwamun (Gate)

Junghwajeon, the throne hall, is the main hall of Deoksugung palace. It is approached through the Junghwamun gate. It is 5 kan wide and 4 kan deep (kan is a traditional way of measurement; it refers to the space between two columns). The eves of the building’s hipped-and-gabled roof are supported by multi-cluster brackets. The hall and its gate, which were both constructed in 1902, were burnt down in 1904 with the rest of the palace buildings.Junghwajeon was rebuilt in 1906, and is thus the most recently built main hall of the royal palaces.

The Junghwamun gate, which is 3 kan wide and 2 kan deep, is architecturally similar to the Junghwajeon hall, including the multi-cluster bracket structure and hipped-and-gabled roof. Because the original Junghwajeon was two-storied, it is assumed that the original Junghwamun gate was also larger than the present one. The present gate is believed to have been built in 1906 when Junghwajeon was rebuilt. The gate’s columns, like those of the hall, are higher than those of other palatial structures of comparable dimensions.

5. The Junghwajeon (Hall)


Chungwajeon stands upon a broad two-tiered Woldae (stone terrace). The stairs leading to the hall are not steep. The round columns, which are topped with multi-cluster brackets, stand on round stone plinths. The doors have slanted lattice frames. Windows to admit sunlight are above the doors. The overall impression of this building is less of gentleness because the wide two-tiered terrace, the front between base and roof, and the roof combine to represent characteristics of the last days of the Joseon period. (treasure No.819)

(1) The Throne in Junghwajeon Hall

The throne is approached directly from the hall’s central door. It is on high platform between two tall columns. An openwork wood folding screen and a higher folding screen with designs of the sun, moon and mountains are behind the throne. Stairs with railings are in the front and on either side of the dais. A carved wooden canopy is over the throne.

(2) Stairs to Junghwajeon Hall

Four mythical fire eating animals called “haetae” divide the stairs into three sections. The two inner “haetae” are fully sculptured, while remaining only the heads of the outer two are fully sculptured with the rest of the body simply rounded. The stone panel in the middle of the stairs is decorated with clouds, grass and flowers, and in its center are two dragons in an oval.

(3) Stairs to Upper-Tier Terrace of Junghwajeon Hall

The lower tier of the terrace is built up with two rows of long stones topped by surface panels. The stairs to the lower tier comprise five steps. A pair of haetae animals on the second step divide the stairs into three sections. A stone panel is placed between the second and the fifth steps in the middle. At the end of the triangular side panels of the stairs are the head of the haetae. The stairs to the upper tier of the terrace are the same as those to the lower tier except that the side panels are rounded and that the stairs are of three steps.

(4) Covered Corridors of Junghwajeon Hall

The main building of a royal palace has covered corridors enclosing its front court. Examples of such corridors are found in Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung, and Changgyeonggung palaces. There must have been such covered corridors for Junghwajeon hall, this structure to east of the hall is believed to have been part of the corridors, judging from its architectural plan and style.

6.The Gwangmyeongmun (Gate)


The main gate to Hamnyeongjeon hall. The original position of this gate was south of Hamnyeongjeon hall. During the Japanese rule (1910 – 1945), the gate was removed to the present location to be used as an exhibition space for the Buddhist bell of Heungcheonsa temple and the water clock. This gate with 3 kan in width and 2 kan in depth has wooden panel doors when it was at its original location.

Round columns have brackets on the top and Janghwaban supports are placed on the head penetrating ties to support the purlines. Though large for a palace building gate, its structure is solid.

7.The Wolgongmun (Gate)

8.The Podeokmun (Gate)

9.The Seokjojeon (Hall)

This edifice showing the influence of the Colonial style of the early 19th century America is three storied and has a floor space op 4,045 square meters. The building work was supervised at its early stage by Sim Uiseok, a Korean, Sabatin, a Russian, and Ogawa, a Japanese, and later by M. H. Davidson, an Englishman. The first floor was for the attendants and valets, the second floor consisted of audience rooms and halls, and on the third floor were the bed rooms, living rooms and drawing rooms for the use of king and queen-consort.

At one time, this building housed the National Museum of Korea. At present it is used as a part of the Royal Museum. The Royal Museum with 11 exhibition halls show artefacts of the royal Yi household including the clothes and personal ornaments of Crown Prince Uimin (King Ongchin) and his consort, Princess Bangja, and relics related to Princess Yuhwa. The Construction of the West Wing was begun in 1936 and was completed in 1938. It is now used as a part of the Royal Museum.

10.West Wing of Seokjojeon Hall

National Museum of contemporary Art, Deoksugung specializes in modern art and is engaged in various activities: academic studies, collection and preservation of works of art, the staging of temporary and permanent exhibitions, the development and execution of educational programs, the publication and international dissemination of information and finally, the international exchange of modern works of art. Because many citizens find it difficult to get to Gwacheon from Seoul, one of the Museums chief goals is to serve as a cultural center for the residents of northern Seoul.

11. The Fountain

This stone building was conceived by one Brown, an Englishman, in 1900 and designed by architect G.R. Harding, also an English man, and was completed in 1910. These gardens are believed to have been made also in the same year. A western-style garden with pond and fountain, this was the first European garden ever made in Korea. Four bronze fur seals are positioned around the fountain.

12.The Junmyeongdang (Hall)

This building 6 kan wide across the front and 4 kan deep on the side with a hipped-and -gabled roof is situated to the north of Junghwajeon hall and west of Jeukjodang. An inner building of the palace, Junmyeongdang hall, with an architectural style similar to Jeukjodang hall, had functions similar to it as well. While the wooden floor of Jeukjodang is on its eastern section, that of this building is on its western part.

King Gojong lived here for sometime and received foreign diplomats here. At one time, the portraits of King Gojong and Sunjong were enshrined here.

13.The Jeukjodang (Hall)


King Sunjong ascended the throne in this building located to the north of Junghwajeon hall. Burned in 1904, it was rebuilt later in the year. 7 kan wide across the front and 4 kan deep on the side, this simple and well-proportioned building is not large for a royal living quarter. An open wooden floor is provided in the east front of the building. The Woldae terrace is high in relation to the building and a corridor connects this hall with Junmyeongdang hall to the west.

(1) Fantastic Stones in Front of Jeukjodang Hall

As mentioned earlier, there were no fantastic stones as part of the original landscaping of Deoksugung palace. These stones were brought here from Changgyeonggung palace in 1984 because Jeukjodang was the royal bed chamber, and all royal bed chambers were supposed to have fantastic stones placed nearby.

14. Bronze Statue of King Sejong

This statue was made in 1968. The sculptor was Kim Gyeong-seung who was commissioned by the Committee to Erect Statues of Great Koreans and the Seoul Sinmun Daily Newspaper. Scientific instruments are carved in relief on the three sides of the stone pedestal.

15. The Deokhongjeon (Hall)


Built in 1911, this is one of the most recently built structures in Deoksugung palace. The base is built up with long square stones. The pillars are of adequate height and simplified column-top brackets support the roof. This building is smaller than Hamnyeongjeon hall to the east. The height of the base, the front between base and roof, and roof of this building are in pleasing and refined harmony. Dragon heads and miscellaneous images on the ridges of the hipped-and-gabled roof are believed to expel misfortune and prevent fire.

(1) Deokhongjeon Hall

This is a view of Deokhongjeon from Hamnyeongjeon hall kings conducted daily business of national government and received domestic and foreign dignitaries in this building. The original wall between Hamnyeongjeon and Deokhongjeon is now gone. This hipped-and-gabled building with a 3 kan wide and 4 kan deep has unique front stairs. A narrower and lower platform is attached to the terrace and stepping stones are provided on its either sides. A flight of stairs flanked by stone panels is installed in the middle of the platform. This style of base is thought to be a simplified version of the two-tiered Woldae terrace.

16.The Jeonggwanheon (Hall)

Built in 1900, this is the first European architecture ever built in a royal palace. King Gojong held parties here. There are inner and outer rows of wooden columns in this building of 7kan frontal width and 5kan depth. The inner columns are thick and round. Tops of the outer columns are Romanesque and the space between column tops in decorated by openwork designs. Openwork deer, pine, bats, and arabesque floral designs connects the lower part of the outer columns to produce a Korean-style atmosphere.

17.The Hamnyeongjeon (Hall)

These living and sleeping quarters of King Gojong were rebuilt in 1904, following their destruction by fire earlier in the year. King Gojong died in this building in 1919. This ‘L’-shaped building is 9 kan wide across the front, 4 kan deep on the side, and has a 4 kan extension attached to the rear of the western section of the building. The central part is recessed. For its size, the building is simply decorated.

(1) Outside view of Corridors of Hamnyeongjeon Hall

While the location of the corridors are original, the architectural aspects have been changed because of repair work done during the Japanese occupation(1910-1945). The corridor in front of Hamnyeongjeon hall has a three-panel door installed in it while the corridor in front ofDeokhongjeon hall has a roofed gate. The corridors in front of the two buildings are connected with each other.

(2) Papered Doors of Hamnyeongjeon Hall

Doors are viewed from the inside of the hall. Windows are provided above the papered doors to bring in more light. While the doors have simple square designs, the light windows have slanted lattice designs. The papered doors and windows make the inside brighter and appear spacious and higher. Sliding paper doors are installed between the wood-floored area and adjacent Ondol-heated rooms. The #-shaped main frame of the doors help make the rooms more comfortable.


18.The Seogeodang (Hall)

The only two-storied building in Deoksugung palace, the original Seogeodang was burnt down in 1904 fire and rebuilt later in the year. The original Seogeodang hall was used by King Seonjo for 16 years upon return from his refuge during the Japanese invasion in 1592. He died in this building. It was in the front yard of this building that the Dowager Queen Inmok severely reprimanded King Gwanghaegun for his wicked deeds. Although a two-storied palace building, its architectural style strongly reflects that of an ordinary building with absence of decoration. The first story is 8 kan wide across the front and 3 kan deep on the side, while the second story is 6 kan wide across the front and 1 kan deep on the side.



1.The Donhwamun (Gate)

This is main entrance to the Changdeokgung palace. When it was first built, there was a white granite substructure, on the top of which a two-storied gate building was erected. This is a typical structure of the entrance to our palace that was transmitted from the Three Kingdoms period. Unfortunately, now, the substructure has disappeared; only the two-storied building remains. This is quite different from the structure of the Gwanghwamun, the main entrance to the main palace of the Joseon Dynasty, which was erected on the structure with three open arches on the ground.

As one may observe, the Donhwamun is elegant but simple because it was built as an entrance to a separate palace of the Changdeokgung palace.

The Donhwamun was set on fire by the Japanese invaders, but it was reconstructed as it had been by King Seonjo in 1607. It’s the oldest entrance to remain in Seoul. Only the threshold of the entrance was reconstructed so that an automobile could pass through it easily. (Treasure No.383).

2.Geumcheongyo (Bridge)

This bridge was built over the stream that sprang from the north and encircled “Oedang” which means the outer buildings of the palace. It is derived from our ancient belief that a place such as this one was one of the most auspicious sites for a palace. This is the reason why Yeongjegyo bridge in the Gyeongbokgung palace and Okcheongyo bridge in the Changgyeonggung palace were built over each stream that flowed from the north and encircled the Oedang. The bridge is 12.9m long and 12.5m wide. It was constructed by king Taejong in 1411. The banks of the stream were made up of long rectangular stones.

This is one of the oldest stone bridge to remain in Seoul now. The structure of bridges is as follows: It has two arches, and a mighty mythical animal called “Haetae” to the south and a turtle statue called “Hyeonmu” to the north were installed on the stand in the middle of the arches. Behind these statues, a monster, which is said to keep off evil spirits, is carved on the lateral side of the base where the two arches meet. On the both sides of the bridge, balustrades are established. The balustrades are composed of stone pillars with animal-shaped statues on the top, balusters, and flat stones with wind holes. Especially the lotus petal design on the balusterades, the statues in the shape of animal heads at the foot of each baluster, and a mighty mythical animal statue, called “Haetae”, on top of the last baluster is very charming. This bridge is not flat, but arched with the rise in the middle. In front of the bridge, there was a gate called “Jinseonmun” which lead to “Oedang” that in Korean belief, had some relationship with the Myeongdangsu stream. Inside of the Donhwamun, there was a garden which was covered with the trees, like a locust, a zelkova, and so on. This is derived from an ancient Korean institution, too, and it’s also why the palace was called “Goesin”, which literally means the palace where the trees, including a locust, a zelkova, etc., were planted.

3.The Injeongmun (Gate)

This is an open entrance to the existing wing which surrounds the Injeongjeon where the king and his officials gathered together to hold a conference. This gate is located in the center of the south of the Injeongjeon. Going up the lower terrace stones, you will find an entrance with only an open ‘kan’ in the center among 3 kan’s. This is different from any other entrances in this respect because it was later changed in structure and decorations, etc.

The Injeongmun was first built in 1418 during King Taejong’s reign, but subsequently it was destroyed and reconstructed; It was destroyed during the Japanese invasion, King Injo’s Reform, and King Yeongjo’s reign. The existing gate is assumed to have been built in 1745 when the Injeongjeon was reconstructed. (Treasure No. 813)

4.The Injeongjeon (Hall)

Every palace has its own main hall, which was equipped with various decorations that symbolize the power and authority of the King. The Injeongjeon, as a main hall of the Changdeokgung palace, is stationed in the centre of the outer buildings of the palace. In fact, it is usual that the outer buildings should be located in the south of the inner buildings, and the most important buildings and pavilions arranged in accordance with the line of the main axis of the meridian.

The Changdeokgung differs from the Gyeongbokgung palace in this respect. All the buildings of the Changdeokgung are arranged according to its topography. This is the reason why the palace was built as a detached palace. This is also characteristic of the Changdeokgung palace. About 1912, when the wings of the Injeongjeon were reconstructed to be used for an exhibition hall, the gate called Injeongmun was also restored to function as an entrance of the hall, and each space between two posts was then rearranged, too. Built on the double bases called “Woldae”, the Injeongjeon is a two-story building, the inside of which has no partition between both stories. It occupies 20 kan and has an eave with a complex bracket structure which represents the late style of the Joseon dynasty.

5.The Seonjeongjeon (Hall)

Usually, the Pyeonjeon, where the king worked at his convenience, belonged to the outer buildings of the palace, but it neighboured the king’s sleeping quarters. The Seonjeongjeon is the Pyeonjeon with 9 kan, which is a one-story building. One can feel a sense of comfortable and stability here. In particular, the high footstones for gutter, and the blue glazed roof tiles are the attractions here. The four-leaf doors with paper replaced by pane made the inside more bright.

In the center of the building, the king sat on his throne in from of the screen with the sun, the moon, and five mountains in, and then his subjects were permitted to take their seats on both sides. A scribe also sat in a corner, recording what they were discussing.

The decorative ceiling over the throne is symbolic of the king’s authority. It looks like a canopy, and is truly representative of woodcraft and art of the Joseon Dynasty. (Treasure No. 814)


6.The Huijeongdang(Hall)

Built to the south of the Daejojeon, the Huijeongdang was the place where the king worked ever day. The room in the centre of the building with no partitions, which is 3 kan in length and 3kan in width, was used as a drawing room, and the same size room in the west was used as a conference hall. On the upper part of the east wall of the drawing room, the “Landscape of the Chongseokjeong Pavilion” is hung, and on the upper part of the west wall, the “Ten Thousands Peaks of the Geumgangsan Mountain” is hung. King Gojong stayed here before the completion of the Gyeongbokgung and King Seonjong did, too. In those days, western civilization was introduced into Korea, which was under acculturation.

The Huijeongdang is a representative example of this; that is, the Huijeongdang building is, certainly Korean native architecture, but the interior is decorated with western materials in many respects. The Huijeongdang was burned down in 1917, and the existing building was reconstructed with the materials of the Gangnyeongjeon disassembled in the Gyeongbokgung (Treasure No. 815)

7.The Daejojeon (Hall)

This is a queen’s residence called “Daejojeon”, which is located just behind the king’s residence, called “Huijeongdang”, which is in the center of the palace. Usually, every building of the palace has a ridge on its roof, but the Daejojeon has none. It’s the reason why we can easily find what and where the Daejojeon is.

In the center of the Daejojeon, there is a small base called “Woldae”, on which every man who visited a queen executed a greeting or sometimes waited for her to appear. At the right, left and front of the Woldae, each stone stairway was built, which lead to the foot way. At both edges of the base, there are massive bronze utensils, which were installed to ward off fire. It was derived from the belief that the god of fire was frightened away at seeing his shape reflected on the water in it.

It’s here the King Seongjong, King Injo, King Hyeonjong, King Cheoljong, and King Sunjong,etc. died. (Treasure No. 816)

8.The Naeuiwon (Infirmary)

It’s here that the royal doctors of the court took care of the King and his family. It was also called “Yakbang”, which literally means a pharmacy. In the Seongjeonggak, the main building of the Naeuiwon complex, there are some tables of ‘保護聖躬’ ‘彫和御樂’ etc., Which mean “do one’s best to take care of the king and his family”. They were written by King Jeongjo himself.

Every court doctor had his own duty: some were in charge of surgery and some of obstetrics: there were also women doctors who treated only women of higher status.

They were always on duty day and night by turns. Here in the Naeuiwon, all kinds of herbs from all over the country were then preserved. However, the herbs, the court doctors and the implements that were used for compounding medicine have all disappeared. Only some stone mortars remain to tell the story of those days.

9. The Royal Garage

10.The Nakseonjae (Pavilion)


11.The Yeonghwadang(Hall)

The Korean society of the Joseon dynasty was organized and administered by the scholar gentry, recruited from the class of petty landlords through an examination system which was called “Gwageojedo” in Korean. It’s here in the Yeonghwadang that such an examination called “Jeonsi” was held. But this is was originally the place where the king and his subjects enjoyed poetry and flowers. It was from King Jeongjo’s reign that such an examination was held here.

12.The Buyongjeong (Pavilion)

The applicants who passed the examination in the Yeonghwadang went to the Juhamnu, in which they studied tens of thousands of the books collected in the royal library. When the course of the study was finished, a commemorative party was held at the Buyongjeong pavilion. Even though the Buyongjeong is a small building, the surface of it is in the shape of ‘亞’ and it is very complex. The two legs of the Buyongjeong are in a pond, which looks like a beautiful lotus flower in full blossom in the pond.

The Buyongjeong is also uncommon in structure. It is a building of 1 kan, which is surrounded by doors. Openning the doors, one can see around the outside.

13.The Buyongji (Pond)

The Buyongji (34.5m by 29.4m) is a rectangular pond with a round island in the center. The island is 9 meter in diameter. It was in 1707 that this pond and the Taeksuje were built at the present site of the Buyongjong pavilion. But the Taeksuje was removed by King Jeongjo, who constructed the Buyongjeong in 1792. Beside the pavilion, there is a beautiful fantastic stone on the pot, which is symbolic of a Taoist hermit. In particular, when the Juhamnu in the north, the Yeonghwadang in the east, and the Buyongjeong in the south are reflected on the surface of the water of the pond, they are at their most spectacular.

14.The Juhamnu

The Juhamnu was completed in the year when King Jeongjo ascended the throne. Especially the king himself was very fond of the pragmatic sciences prevailing in the academic field, and wrote many important books, In this way, he made a great contribution to the development of the science.

The Juhamnu is a Kind of a library which has two stories. On the first floor is the storehouse in which tens of thousands of books are stored, and on the second is a reading room. The Junhamnu literally means the “Pavilion where every kind of principle of the universe gathers.” In other words, it’s here that all future officials-to-be read and study.

It’s the reason why the landscape around the pavilion was made attractive. For example, the Eosumun gate in the south, a square pond in front of the gate, the island in the center of the pond, which is derived from an ancient Korean belief, the monument in the west of the pond, a monster statue through which the water comes into the pond, the Yeonghwadang in the east, the Buyongjeong in the south, a fish image on the stone near the pond at a side of the Buyongjeong, etc,. This place is also famous for the glorious tints of its autumn foliage.

15.The Aeryeonji (Pond)

If one passes the garden at the rear of the Juhamnu pavilion and walks down along the slope of the hill leading into the stairway, he can find a square pond on the opposite side and a pavilion on the north bank of the pond. This is the Aeryeonjeong, which is composed of only 1 kan. Looking out of the windows of the pavilion, one can enjoy a wonderful view. It looks like just a framed picture, owing to the decorations attached to the upper part of the pillars. Of course, the mood of the picture depends on the season. In particular, the stone structure, through which water comes into the pond, is opposite excellent in beauty and technique of design.

16.The Yeongyeongdang(Hall)

All the buildings in this complex were built after the model of Korean gentry’s houses in the 28th year of King Sunjo’s reign. Such an example can never be found in any other palace. This complex, which totaled 99 kan, was then named after Yeongyeongdang, which the master occupied. In this respect, all the buildings here are important artifacts which relate ancient Korean housing, architecture and life history, etc.

Those who come through the entrance in the middle on horseback or by a monocycle called” Choheon” dismount from stepping on a stone in front of the stairway to the Yeongyeongdang which the master occcupied. Then they walk up a flight of three stairs, at the top of which they take off their shoes on a stepping stone and stand on the wooden varanda. Finally, they reach the floored hall of 4 kan, which is composed of an east floor room of 2 kan and a west reception room of 4 kan, at the outer side of which are a wall closet and a loft. Perhaps there were also several household items, including a Korean rug, in the room, but now nothing remains here.

17.The Seonhyangjae

If one had his own children in the Yeongyeongdang, he would have made every effort to provide them with a good education, for which an able teacher and many good books in the library were most important. The Seonhyangjae here functioned as the library and school of the Royal family.

The Seonhyangjae faces west, and in summer, the sunshine struck the building at sunset. A structure was, therefore, installed at the outside of the building to prevent strong sunshine from coming into the room; for example, an oil-papered blind, etc. In addition, it was decorated with a bronze plate on the roof. In this respect, this was one of the most luxurious buildings of its kind in Korea.

18.The Gwallamjeong (Pavilion)

The Gwallamjeong stands at the edge of the pond of Bandoji. The plane of it is in the shape of an extended fan. The floor and roof were built of the curved materials which were suitable for the morphology of the pavilion. This is characteristic of the Gwallamjeong. Nobody knows exactly when this pavilion was built, but it is inferred that the pavilion was built any time between the end of the Joseon dynasty and the early Colonial period.

19.The Ongnyucheon (Stream)

This garden, which was built in 1636, occupies the inner most part of the Changdeokgung palace. The Ongnyuncheon stream and the water from the Eojeong well pass through the garden, in which several pavilions, including the Cheonguijeong, the Soyojeong, the Taegeukjong, the Chwihanjeong, were properly arranged along the stream Each pavilion had a simple stone bridge over the stream to provide a way across for pedestrians.

Just next to the Eojeong well, there is a large natural rock called “Soyoam” on which a curved waterway in the shape of “L” is carved and a poem inscribed. At the end of the rock, there is a manmade waterfall as well. In front of each pavilion, a small pond was constructed too, but the only Cheonguijeong with straw-thatched roof is erected in the center of a small rice field. The cool water and deep forest makes the garden fresh and cool even in hot summer. In particular, the forest here reminds us of a remote mountainous region. If one sits on the bank of the Ongnyucheon and gazes at the cloud and fog rising up from the surface of it, he can feel as if he is in a Utopia shrouded in fog.

It was in 1636 that the curve waterway and the waterfall were made here. “玉流川” inscribed on the rock was written by King Injo himself, and a poem on it is assumed to have been engraved in 1690 in light of the note just beside the poem, which reads,” “The stream flows away beyond the measurement, and the waterfall plummets down from the sky. These remind me of white rainbow, thunder, and light all over the valley.

20.The Uirojeon(Hall)

21.The New Seonwonjeon (Shrine)

In Korea, every dynasty had its own Seonwonjeon in which former kings’ portraits were enshrined. This is the last existing Seonwonjeon of the Joseon dynasty, and it is located in the innermost part of the Changdeokgung Palace. In the Seonwonjeon of the Changdeokgung Palace, ther are many niches and in each niche only a king’s portrait was enshrined; for example, King Taejo in niche No. 1. King Sejo in No. 2, King Wonjong in No. 3, King Sukjong in No.4, King Yeongjo in No. 5, King Jeongjo in No.6, King Sunjo in No. 7, King Munjo in No.8, King Heonjong in No. 9, King Cheoljong in No. 10, and Gojong in No.11. On each King’s birthday, a memorial rite was held here.

During the Korean War, the portaits enshrined here were moved to Busan, but all were burned to ashes. This Seonwonjeon is composed of a main shrine and some annexes, including a square pond, a warehouse, and several pavilions like the Mongdapjeong.