Saturday, March 09, 2013

Not in My Palace! A Zoo and a Green House

This Victorian-style greenhouse looks pretty in and of itself, but it placement was designed to be anything but. Built just one year (1909) before Korea was formally annexed by Imperial Japan, it was part of a larger Japanese plan to degrade Changgyeonggung from its royal palace status. Many palace buildings were cleared to make way for a zoo and botanical garden - a grave insult to the reverent Koreans. During this planned destruction phase, a road was laid between the palace and Jongmyo Shrine (housing the memorial tablets of royalty) in order to sever their symbolic link between the two places. In 1983 the zoo was removed. Reconstruction of Changgyeonggung continues to this day.

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