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Gyeongbokgung Palace, Part 3: Gyeongbokgung Palace

October 12, 2009

Gyeongbokgung Palace is a really big palace place. There is history and stuff, and for all of that I direct you to everyone’s favorite smarter-than-thou, Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gyeongbokgung. A lot of kings lived there and slept there. Even more concubines slept there, and ‘slept’ there. As well as eunuchs. Lord knows what the eunuchs did. Cried, probably.

I afraid I have to admit I have little to say in general about the palace or the experience of being in one. Having spent so much of my time in Europe tramping through the luxurious excretions of the super rich, the palace was unremarkable in terms of what it actually meant – yea, some kings slept there. I can’t name them. Some people still care about them, but I don’t. So goes history. They did all they did to be remembered, to be immortal, but that doesn’t mean I have to remember them. Find a different blog to be immortalized within, King Sejong.

But the palace itself was beautiful, in ways, of course, that will speak at greater lengths in picture form than in words, especially because I do not know much about architecture, much less oriental architecture. One of the most remarkable things about the palace, however, was its relatively lack of sheer extravagance. The exterior facades are elegant and rich, certainly, but they are more vibrant for relying upon basic colors and simple geometrical layouts rather than gold or gold gilt, huge statutes, paintings of the kings deified in the heavens and the retchings of rococo over every surface (a la Western palaces, of course). One can surmise, even, a greater gravitas beheld in the King’s position in historical Korean society, a gravitas that did not require the constant flaunting of extravagance to prove. This is just supposition, of course, and one biased by my annoyance at the sheer quantity of palaces I had to suffer through in my time in Europe.

But without further ado, here is the picture show of Gyeonbokgung Palace, complete with commentary:

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8 Comments
  1. Melissa permalink
    October 15, 2009 6:28 am

    your pictures and detailing of foreign sounding names bring me back to my days in Hong Kong (wow, I am sounding old now) but this just to say “thanks” for posting your pictures, for continuing to write, and to let me know you are still alive and kicking somewhere out there:)

  2. October 27, 2009 1:09 pm

    hello man :p
    your are takend pic well 😮 yeah gyun bok place awesome place
    anyway you know there were 5 palace before in korea
    but while japan managed our country they were all destroy 4
    and only 1 still alive 😮 i’m to sad because even only 1 it is UNESCO build
    if 4 still alive anther would be …
    oh anyway can i take ur article this website?
    http://koreaprose.com
    i have made this website 1 weeks ago for introduce korea 🙂
    if u have anyquestion about the korea or somthing i can help u
    let me know

    ps sorry my bad eng :p
    regard cheol

    • jgerminario permalink*
      October 29, 2009 7:55 pm

      Thanks Cheol, and sure, you can use what I wrote, just make sure to credit me on the site and maybe put a link up! Hope you enjoy the rest of my coverage on Korea!

  3. January 21, 2010 6:23 pm

    Have you ever considered adding more videos to your blog posts to keep the readers more entertained? I mean I just read through the entire article of yours and it was quite good but since I’m more of a visual learner,I found that to be more helpful well let me know how it turns out. This is good…thanks for sharing

    • jgerminario permalink*
      January 24, 2010 10:01 pm

      Thanks for the suggestion Brenda! I have included videos with the latest post — hope you enjoy!

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