Seoul 2017: Day 4 [Deoksugung Palace]

by Pauline Padalhin April. 21, 2020 110 views

Deoksugung Palace

Changing of the Royal Guards Ceremony in front of Daehamnun Gate

Changing of the Royal Guards Ceremony in front of Daehamnun Gate

Deoksugung Palace is the smallest of all the five Seoul palaces. Its name meaning the “Palace of virtue and longevity”, it was inhabited by the Korean royal family during the Joseon monarchy until the around 1910. It is famous for its elegant stone-wall road (Hi Goblin!). It opens at 9AM and is closed every Monday.

A musician hitting the yonggo in front of Deoksugung Palace

A musician hitting the yonggo in front of Deoksugung Palace

We spent almost all morning at the Gyeongbokgung Palace and we decided to walk to Deoksugung Palace. Hindi pa napuntahan nina Xyza and Angel ang palace and Claudia and I went back because we wanted to see a palace at night. In autumn, only Deoksugung is open until 9PM. In other months, both Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung opens their door late. But not in November. Next time na lang ulit ang iba.

It was a great decision to go back because we were just in time to see the Changing of the Guard Ceremony. And that is what we call ceremony talaga. The whole performance lasted for more than 15 minutes complete with a marching band and marching guards. Ito ang inaasahan namin sa Gyeongbokgung na hindi namin nakita.

So if you have to choose just one changing of the guard ceremony to watch, go to Deoksugung.

Daechwita musicians performing for the Changing of the Royal Guards Ceremony in front of Deoksugung.

Daechwita musicians performing for the Changing of the Royal Guards Ceremony in front of Deoksugung.

Us with the Head of the Royal Guards and his troupe.  The organizer of the performance was very nice.  After the show, he encouraged us to take pictures with the performers and even volunteered to take pictures for us.

Us with the Head of the Royal Guards and his troupe. The organizer of the performance was very nice. After the show, he encouraged us to take pictures with the performers and even volunteered to take pictures for us.

Deoksugung Palace Buildings

Junghwajeon Hall is the main hall of Deoksugung Palace.

Junghwajeon Hall is the main hall of Deoksugung Palace.

Junghwamun Gate is the main gate of the main hall.

Junghwamun Gate is the main gate of the main hall.

Hamnyeongjeon Hall is the sleeping quarters of the emperor and empress.  The east wing is for the emperor while the west wing is for the empress.  Smaller rooms in both wings are for the court ladies that watch over the royal couple

Hamnyeongjeon Hall is the sleeping quarters of the emperor and empress. The east wing is for the emperor while the west wing is for the empress. Smaller rooms in both wings are for the court ladies that watch over the royal couple

Seogeodang is the only building with two tiers of roof within the Deoksugung grounds. It resembles a typical Korean house of the 16th century.  This is a very photogenic building and it has become our favorite within Deoksugung.

Seogeodang is the only building with two tiers of roof within the Deoksugung grounds. It resembles a typical Korean house of the 16th century. This is a very photogenic building and it has become our favorite within Deoksugung.

Seogeodang at night.

Seogeodang at night.

Jeonggwanheon Hall means 'a place from which to watch the garden silently'.  This is the first European building ever built in a Korean royal palace. It was designed by a Russian architect.

Jeonggwanheon Hall means 'a place from which to watch the garden silently'. This is the first European building ever built in a Korean royal palace. It was designed by a Russian architect.

A closer look at one of the columns of Jeonggwanheon Hall. The design of the deer with bullocho, a mythical herb and elixir of eternal youth, with pine trees and dragons wishes the emperor a long life.  Your eyes do not deceive you.  There really are bats for good fortune.

A closer look at one of the columns of Jeonggwanheon Hall. The design of the deer with bullocho, a mythical herb and elixir of eternal youth, with pine trees and dragons wishes the emperor a long life. Your eyes do not deceive you. There really are bats for good fortune.

Inside Jeonggwanheon Hall.

Inside Jeonggwanheon Hall.

View of the back portion of Seokjojeon Hall.  In the basement of this building are some free exhibits for the Daehan Empire History Museum.

View of the back portion of Seokjojeon Hall. In the basement of this building are some free exhibits for the Daehan Empire History Museum.

Full view of the Seokjojeon Hall which means 'the stone house'.

Full view of the Seokjojeon Hall which means 'the stone house'.

Deoksugung Here and There

From our history lesson earlier that day at Gyeongbokgung, these statues on the roof are animal guardians that protect the king.

From our history lesson earlier that day at Gyeongbokgung, these statues on the roof are animal guardians that protect the king.

Noong bumisita kami ni Claudia for the first time, I thought this bookshelf was real.  I even commented that I want a similar bookshelf of my own someday.  When she pointed out that it was just a picture,  my fantasy crumbled.

Noong bumisita kami ni Claudia for the first time, I thought this bookshelf was real. I even commented that I want a similar bookshelf of my own someday. When she pointed out that it was just a picture, my fantasy crumbled.

Representation of what emperors and kings must have studied in the past.

Representation of what emperors and kings must have studied in the past.

How to make your own free handmade Korean passport circa Goryeo time for a souvenir. There is special paper provided which you scratch over a special tool.  The tool functioned like a photocopying machine prototype.  Don't forget to stamp it.

How to make your own free handmade Korean passport circa Goryeo time for a souvenir. There is special paper provided which you scratch over a special tool. The tool functioned like a photocopying machine prototype. Don't forget to stamp it.

Xyza is sad-faced here because her handmade passport was done messily.  It showed when placed beside Angel's.

Xyza is sad-faced here because her handmade passport was done messily. It showed when placed beside Angel's.

Hemispheric sundial in front of Seokjojeon.  There is an instruction in front of it on how to use it but I did not not understand anything.  Maybe next time.

Hemispheric sundial in front of Seokjojeon. There is an instruction in front of it on how to use it but I did not not understand anything. Maybe next time.

Claudia looks like she is stepping out of another dimension and walking into ours.

Claudia looks like she is stepping out of another dimension and walking into ours.

Bullied with love

Bullied with love

Xyza's smile of success.

Xyza's smile of success.

We were so ecstatic to find this part of the palace grounds. It was so beautiful and there were no people around to photobomb our pictures which was a wonder. As it turned out, kaya walang tao kasi bawal pala ang umapak sa trails na ito. Pinayagan muna kami ni Kuya Staff to take a bunch of pictures before niya kami nilapitan and signed (arms crossed into an 'X' in front of his chest) that we are not supposed to be there.

Useless na po. Nakuha na namin ang lahat ng gusto namin doon. Deoksugung grounds brought out the naughty, rule-breaking side of Xyza. She kept on suggesting activities to do there that could get us deported and banned from ever going back.

This view reminds me of Goblin.  The whole place reminds me of the drama.

This view reminds me of Goblin. The whole place reminds me of the drama.

Goblin-inspired pose.

Goblin-inspired pose.

Kapag lumingon ka, akin ka!

Kapag lumingon ka, akin ka!

Friendship makes life more beautiful.  May we forever walk the gardens of life hand in hand.

Friendship makes life more beautiful. May we forever walk the gardens of life hand in hand.

Deoksugung Stonewall Walkway

Deoksugung Stonewall Walkway

These statues looked stretched like that.  No manipulations done on this picture.

These statues looked stretched like that. No manipulations done on this picture.

Done with Deoksugung but our day still is not over.

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