Thursday, November 08, 2012

The Feminine side of Gyeongbokgung Palace

Located towards the rear of the Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul, the area known as Hyangwonjeong is one of the most picturesque areas of the palace. The small pavilion pictured here lacks the imposing feeling of the main throne hall and even the other pond-surrounded pavilion known as Gyeonghoeru. With its collection of water lilies, distant mountains, and a narrow bridge, the area exudes tranquility. In this section of the palace, a separate living quarters known as Geoncheonggung was built in 1873 for the king and queen. 

Tragically, Geoncheonggung was the scene of the Japanese assassination of Queen Myeongseong in 1895. After that, many of the buildings were demolished so a Japanese Governor-General's residence could be built. After that, the garden area became residence for the US military-led government, and then as a residence for the Korean president. Restoration of the area was completed in 2007.

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