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"Changgyeonggung - Part III" Changgyeonggung Palace Tip by mke1963

Changgyeonggung Palace, Seoul: 37 reviews and 75 photos


Behind the gateway is a stone bridge, the Okcheon-gyo, spanning an artificial brook: this is a clear indication of the strength of Chinese imperial architecture at the time (and note that the big expansion of 1483 by King Seonjong was at the same time Beijing's Imperial Palace was being constructed in its current form). The bridge, like every good Chinese bridge, is even guarded by mythical creatures, recognizable to any Chinese visitor. (Currently the bridge and this first courtyard is closed for renovation)
The courtyard between the Myeongjeongmun (Myeongjeon gate) and the Myeongjeongjeon (Myeongjeong should be getting the hang of it by now!) is paved with huge flagstones, warm in the sun, reassuringly solid in the ice and snow, with a central avenue lined with stone markers. These stones indicated where the different ranks of courtiers needed to line up during ceremonies and events at the palace. On a single, high stone platform is the Myeongjeongjeon dating from the 1616 recent reconstruction. Myeongjeongmun is almost (almost) unique in that it faces east, so creating an entire complex that faces towards the rising sun. I can think of only one other official royal building in Asia that faces east: the rest all face south. This was the core of the complex, with the 'public areas' in front, and the family quarters behind. As a secondary palace, there are few additional buildings on either side: there was no need for the offices and quarters of vast armies of bureaucrats and courtiers here. Where, in bigger palaces, there would be granaries, ministries, housing for battalions of clerks, messengers, visiting dignitaries and flunkeys of every kind, here at Changgyeonggung there are quiet gardens and parkland. The cluster of structures behind the Throne Hall were sufficient for the small imperial family and its retinue of personal staff.

Address: (see Part I)
Phone: +82 2-762-4868

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  • Written Apr 10, 2005
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