Gyeongbokgung Palace is a very unique sight in South Korea due to its long and remarkable history. It is located in Seoul and was built in 1395. The palace’s name means “palace greatly blessed by Heaven,”.
The historical background of building the palace is quite interesting. In 1394, Korea’s capital was moved from Kaesong to Seoul. Kaesong now is located in North Korea. Since the capital was moved a new palace must’ve been built. It is worthy to mention that the palace was built during Joseon Dynasty’s reign and was the center of power.It remained as the center of power until the Japanese invasion, which took place from 1592-1598. During the invasion, the palace was entirely burned down. The ruined palace was abandoned for 270 years.
The palace was finally rebuilt in 1868. Though, the palace’s architecture was changed from the previous one. They still kept Joseon Dynasty’s traditions but also built over 330 buildings in the area.The territory of the palace became a small city having a size of 410.000 square meters.
The palace was functioning well until another Japanese occupation occurred and mostly all buildings including palace’s Gwanghwamun gate were demolished. Afterward, the Japanese government built the General Government building on the northern side of the gate and symbolized Japanese imperialism and pride which of course stood on the pride of Korea. The building stood there up until 1995 when the Japanese-Korean conflict was finally solved.
The Korean government worked on restoring Gwanghwamun Gate to its original state. The South Korean government announced that it will take about 20 years to fully complete the Palace’s restoration.
Still, the palace’s beauty remains unchanged and it is actively visited and appreciated by tourists from around the world.