Thursday, June 25, 2015

Unhyeongung Palace

Unhyeongung Palace was the last palace in Seoul that remained to be visited. Located right by Insadong, its small size, lack of a fancy main gate, and natural colors would make it very easy to pass by without realizing it was a palace. It was constructed in 1864, the first year of Emperor Gojong's reign. Two gates were erected for Gojong and is father Regent Heungseon to easily go between there and Changdeokgung Palace, but they no longer remain. Additional buildings were added for conducting of state affairs, with the formal layout and size exuding the feel of an inner palace. Its triple-fold windows, wood floored storage spaces, and sunscreen eaves are more typical of a palace than the home of a wealthy individual. The buildings also have ondol Korean floor heating systems. After the Korean War, a large part of the property was sold.

Unhyeongung is very easy to get to - just a stone's throw away from exit 4 of Anguk Station, Subway line 3. Admission is free. Twice a year the Royal Wedding Ceremony reenactment is held here.

Right behind the palace is Unhyeongung Yanggwan, a French Renaissance style house built for Heungseon's grandson.

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