Friday, December 21, 2012

Secret Garden of Changdeokgung Palace

Once past the ticketing gate by Hamyangmun, the beautiful area of Changdeokgung Palace, known as the Secret Garden, beckoned. Revisiting the UNESCO site in fall, I was thrilled when the tour guide (normally mandatory for this section) announced that those who wished to venture off on their own could do so. It would be a bit more like how it was for the royal family of yesteryear, wandering through the hilly but shaded paths of the forest, stopping to enjoy the beauty of the ponds, architecture, and natural landscape. 

The first main item of note is the rectangular pond known as Buyongji, framed by the lotus-shaped Buyongjeon pavilion, a small Sajeonggibigak building, and a larger Yeonghwadang Pavilion, where state exams were sometimes held. Opposite the pond with its central tree now ablaze in red, is the Juhamnu Pavilion. Perched many rows of steps up on a hill, this structure commands a fine view of the surroundings. I imagined what joy this scene must have given the royal family when they came here as a retreat or for study. Such harmony of buildings with the natural surroundings.

Walking through paths shaded by fall-colored trees

1 comment:

Jake miller said...

Like the views so much and I wish could go to that place and take some snapshots sort of remembrance during my vacation and find travel agents to my trip.