More on the Seoul trip. Deoksugung Palace served as the main palace of the Great Han Empire (around 10 years in total). After the main palaces were destroyed during the Japanese occupation, the royalty moved here and used this as a temporary palace. Back then, it was known as the Gyeongungung palace, but after the throne was lost, it was downgraded to the state of a simple residence. Apparently, it was 3 times bigger than its current state and the Japanese are said to have made so many alterations to it that it’s now impossible to be brought to its initial state, as all the other royal palaces.
The palace is comprised of several traditional buildings, to which they added a newer part, with two neoclassical structures and Korea’s first Western-style garden. This more western part hosts the National Museum of Contemporary Art, which unfortunately was closed when we visited. Somehow, all art museum were undergoing reparations of some sorts, and none of them was available to visit (except one permanent exhibition in the Korean Museum of Art). Coming back to the more western side of the palace, apparently it changed a lot of architects until it was fully completed, probably because of the tumultuous historic times they were living, and as you’ll be able to notice in the one photo I took of it (the last ones), the result is pretty confusing.
The changing of the guards was taking place when we got there, which is really fun see. They go round the palace, all dressed up and singing with their instruments. And with Deoksugung palace being located in the heart of the city, it was quite amusing hearing and seeing these guys while walking through the modern side of the city. Anyway, hope you’ll like the photos!