Seoul / Palace of Shining Happiness

Or as the Koreans call it, Gyeongbokgun.  The original palace was burnt down in the 16th century during the Japanese invasion, having been built some time previously.  In ruins for nearly 300 years, or approximately three centuries, the palace was rebuilt where the palace once was, before it burnt down.  The palace is quite palatial.  (Sorry, I was looking at the palace, not reading the signs …)

This is Geunjeongjeon, the main palace building where coronations took place and the king would entertain foreigners.  It is unknown what entertainments the king would provide, but possibly a primitive form of karaoke.

The building is pretty impressive, surrounded by a huge timber-framed colonnade and within a preserved mountain setting.

From Geunjeongjeon, the view to the city is via a double decker gate (Heungnyemun). They have a bunch of guards that look serious and periodically march around the courtyard in formation.   But fool me not – I got close enough to see that all their beards are fake and that they didn’t seem too worried about guarding anything.  Afterall, the king doesn’t live here anymore.

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