South Korea is indeed a very beautiful country it attracts mostly for this beauty along with tradition, let’s explore 5 historical spots in South Korea,
Must-Visit Historical Spots In South Korea:
- Gyeongbokgung palace
- Changdeokgung (the East Palace complex)
- Deoksugung & Gyeonghuigung palace
- Jongmyo Shrine
- Yangdong and Hahoe Historical Villages
Gyeongbokgung Palace was originally built in 1395, and is the largest and greatest of Seoul’s Five Grand Palaces. It is also commonly referred to as the Northern Palace because of its location in furthest north when compared to the neighbouring Eastern and Western Palace. Gyeongbokgung Palace is arguably the most beautiful, and remains the largest of all five palaces. Burned down during the Japanese invasion of 1592, of Imjin War, it was reconstructed in 1867 under the leadership of Heungseondaewongun during the reign of King Gojong (1852-1919).
Remarkably, the most representative edifices of the Joseon dynasty, Gyeonghoeru Pavilion and the pond around Hyangwonjeong Pavillion have remained relatively intact. The raised dais and stone markers of Geunjeongjeon showcase the representative art style of their time.
Today, the palace grounds, filled with lotus ponds, gardens, and ornate statues, offer a lovely place to spend the afternoon. The warm welcome by soldiers dressed in blue and red is always overwhelming.
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Changdeokgung (the East Palace complex)
Changdeokgung Palace was constructed in the 15th century during the Joseon Dynasty, and the complex is situated in the foot of Ungbong Peak of Mount Baegaksan, the main geomagnetic guardian mountain.
Changdeokgung is an exceptional example of official and residential buildings that were integrated into and harmonized with their natural setting. The complex was originally built as a secondary palace to the main palace of Gyeongbokgung, however it is differentiated from it in its purpose and layout within the capital.
After the palaces were burnt down during the Japanese invasion in the late 16th century, Changdeokgung was the first to be reconstructed and since then served as the main seat of the dynasty for 250 years. It had a great influence on the development of Korean architecture, garden and landscape planning and related arts for many centuries. The palace setting under the bright blue sky reflects sophisticated architectural values, harmonized with the beautiful surroundings.
Deoksugung & Gyeonghuigung Palace
Gyeonghuigung Palace served as another secondary palace for the king, during the latter half of the Joseon period. Situated on the west side of Seoul, it was also called Seogwol, meaning “a palace of the west.” The secondary palace was where the king moved to in times of emergency.
From In-Jo to Cheol-Jong, about ten kings from the Joseon dynasty stayed here at Gyeonghuigung. This palace was built using the slanted geography of the surrounding mountain, and it boasts traditional beauty in its architecture and huge historical significance.
There were about 100 small and large buildings on the palace grounds. But when Japan began occupation of Korea in 1908, much of the palace was leveled or moved. Great efforts were made to restore the natural beauty, modesty and magnificence of the palace to its best form.
Jongmyo Shrine was a pivotal place of worship for kings throughout the Joseon Dynasty. The memorial service, called Jongmyo Jaerye, is said to be the oldest complete ceremony in the world, and was carried out in obedience to the king’s order. The ceremony was designated as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site in December 9, 1995, for its well-preserved ancient customs, such as memorial services and traditional music.
During the Joseon Dynasty, it was held when the season changes and the twelfth month of the lunar year, but was stopped during the Japanese colonial period. Now, it is annually re-enacted on the first Sunday of May. Jongmyo Jaeryeak, the musical part of the ceremony, is produced by instruments, songs, and dances that originated over 500 years ago. In May, the Korean Royal Palace Culture Festival is held with a variety of other cultural heritage festivals.
Yangdong And Hahoe Historical Villages
The two villages of Hahoe and Yangdong are located in the south-eastern region of the Korean peninsula, the heartland of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), that ruled the Korean Peninsula for more than five hundred years. There is a distance of 90km between them.
Sheltered by forested mountains and facing out onto rivers and open agricultural fields, Hahoe and Yangdong in their landscape settings are seen as the two most representative historic, clan villages in Korea. They include residences of the head families, together with substantial timber framed houses of other clan members, also pavilions, study halls, Confucian academies for learning, and clusters of one-story mud-walled, thatched-roofed houses, formerly for commoners. The landscapes of mountains, trees and water around the village, framed in views from pavilions and retreats, were celebrated for their beauty by 17th and 18th century poets.