Renting a Hanbok and going around the palaces in South Korea is an activity that you must do during your trip there. You can experience the feeling during the historical times and also imagine being the main character of your historical drama along with your favorite celebrity that acted in a sageuk (사극). Here are the 5 royal palaces in South Korea that you should visit and take pictures at.
1. GyeongBokGung 경복궁
GyeongBokGung consists of a throne hall (근정전), monarch's residence (강녕전), gardens and pavilions. It is the biggest and most stunning palaces out of all the Joseon (조선) palaces. It emphasizes the palace's auspicious and affluent (풍족한) nature with colors of ruby and jade (옥) where the National Palace Museum of Korea, National Museum of Korea, and the National Folk Museum are on these grounds.
2. ChangDeokGung 창덕궁
Many Joseon dynasty kings (임금) had their main residences here. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (유네스코 세계유산). The palace was built according to pungsu (풍수) with the topography (지형) in mind. The palace's main building faces south, while the hidden garden (비원) faces north. The buildings in the complex were arranged according to Confucian (유교) principles both practically and symbolically.
3. ChangGyeongGung 창경궁
It was originally built by King Sejong (세종대왕) for his father King Taejong (태종). It was formerly known as SuGangGung (수강궁) and was connected (연결된) to ChangDeokGung (창덕궁). This palace is quite small compared to the other royal palaces. This palace was often served as the residential quarters for queens (중전) and concubines (후궁). It also has a Grand Greenhouse inside.
4. DeokSuGung 덕수궁
DeokSuGung wasn't classified as a royal palace at first. It was initially a residential home of Grand Prince Wolsan (월산대군). However, the royal family’s home was burned down during the Imjin War (임진왜란). So they had to relocate to this area. It is famous for its elegant stone-wall road and integration of European architecture (유럽 건축양식) within the complex.
5. GyeongHuiGung 경희궁
It is the youngest (최연소) palace among all and was known as the King’s emergency palace (방공호). It is not as famous as the other palaces, but is still ideal to visit as you can appreciate the authentic Korean architecture (건축물) too. On the palace grounds, you can find the Seoul Museum of History (서울역사박물관) and the GyeongHuiGung Annex Building of the Seoul Museum of Art (시립미술관).