Seoul's city center is a startling combination of old and new: tall glass business centers loom over quiet meditative gardens of the grand palaces, busy traffic runs around the ancient city gates, and office workers sip on coffee in centuries-old pavilions during their lunch breaks. Gyeongbokgung Palace, located near the ultra-modern Gwanghwamun Square, is one of the five great palaces from the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910).
During its long history as the main royal palace, Gyeongbokgung witnessed moments of both glory and tragedy. Built in 1395 by the founder of the Joseon Dynasty, King Taejo, the palace had served as the center of political power for nearly 200 years until it was burnt down during the Imjin Wars (the Japanese invasion of 1592-1598). For 270 years after that Gyeongbokgung was left in ruins, only to be rebuilt by the last official king of Joseon, King Gojong in the late 19th-century. However, the palace never attained its former glory - after the assassination of the king’s wife, Queen Min, in 1895, King Gojong fled to the Russian Legation and later settled in nearby Deoksugung Palace where he lived until his death in 1919.
Abandoned by its rightful owner, Gyeongbokgung was once again destroyed by the Japanese between 1910 and 1915, and was restored to its modern shape only in 1990, with scaffolding is still a regular sight in some parts of the palace. Not many photographs of the complex were preserved after the Japanese occupation, so restoration requires time-consuming research of documents, memoirs, chronicles, and historical paintings. Gyeongbokgung is Seoul’s largest palace and its grounds are surrounded by a 2,404-meter-long wall. The palatial complex within the walls is a great example of Korean traditional culture and lifestyle, acheiving harmony between the surrounding natural scenery and its architecture.
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Things to do / Things to know(Recovered*)
The parking is located to the left of the palace, in the direction of Samcheong-dong from Gwanghwamun Square:
50 above-ground parking spaces for buses; 240 underground parking spaces.
- Parking for People with Disabilities: 9 above-ground spaces
(*Can also use underground parking lot)
- Stroller access B1F
|Vehicle Size||Two hours||Over two hours||Free|
|Small||3000 won||800 won every 10 extra minutes.||drop-off (30 min)
|Medsize/Large||5000 won||800 won every 10 extra minutes||drop-off (30 min)|
- drivers with disabilities
- subcompact vehicle (less than 1000cc)
- low-emission vehicle (including hybrid cars)
- family discount (over 3 children)
|* Families have to present documents confirming their relation together with an ID card.|
|30% discount||- family discount (2 children)|
|Company Name||Gyeongbokgung Palace (경복궁)|
|Category||Outdoors & Adventure Tour & Sightseeing Family & Living|
|Languages Available||English Japanese Chinese|
|Opening Hours||Jan - Feb: 09:00 - 17:00 / March - May: 09:00 - 18:00 / June - Aug: 09:00 - 18:30 / Sept - Oct: 09:00 - 18:00 / Nov - Dec: 09:00 - 17:00|
*Last admission 1 hour before closing
South Korea, 서울특별시 Jongno-gu, Jongno 1(il).2(i).3(sam).4(sa), 사직로 161 Gwanghwamun Gate
Take Line 3 to Gyeongbokgung Station and go out Exit 5 -> Walk from the National Palace Museum of Korea towards the main plaza and Heungnyemun Gate of the palace.
Take Line 5 to Gwanghwamun Station and go out Exit 2 -> Walk straight about 350 meters towards the palace and Gwanghwamun Gate -> Cross the main street and enter Gyeongbokgung Palace through Gwanghwamun Gate.