Monday, January 19, 2015

Out and About at Changdeokgung Palace

Last weekend we took a few hours to explore a different palace and surrounding area - we headed north on the subway to Jongno 3-ga and ended up on Donhwamun-ro, headed toward the Changdeokgung Palace. As we walked along, we did a bit of window shopping:

We'll be back for one of those^^

We took a mini-break and then found ourselves at the main gate.

Your history lesson for Changdeokgung:

As we entered, I saw this sign next to an older tree - note the red circle on the picture, showing the tree depicted in an early 1820-1830 map of the area:

And here is the same tree today:

Next, we entered the parade ground, which is one of the longer ones we've seen here.

One more entrance gate...

..with ornamental guardians,

and we found the palace.

This building is Chong-jon Hall, the main hall of the palace used for coronations 
and other official grand ceremonies. Inside is the throne area, with the royal irworobongdo screen behind it.

I just love the architecture and colors on these buildings!

Some more pictures (with my puny little cell phone camera) in my continuing effort to capture the beauty of these buildings and the really cool animal fixtures guarding the rooftops.

"Mommy, enough pictures - find me!"

A map of the entire complex, with a "Secret Garden" area on the northern end.

This sign made me laugh, but was glad to be warned...

..when we saw this dangerous wild animal! Seriously, though, it's a pretty cool squirrel with long black tufts on its ears.

The palace complex included this next set of buildings, in the traditional hanok style, but without the elaborate decorative painting. It was a place for the king to rest and read, away from the general business of the main buildings.

Due to the cold temps, we opted not to take the separate Secret Garden tour, so I snapped a picture of one of its buildings above this terraced area.

We wandered for a bit more, checking out the back of the palace and resident areas, where I focused on some of the other elements present:

Inside one of the covered walkways:

One of the more modernized parts of the buildings - it threw me for a second, 
with its modern windows:

The tiled kitchen area inside:

This was part of the king and queen's residence area, and there were some pieces of furniture on display inside:

A meeting room:

We said goodbye to the palace, and this sculpture of a haechi, and headed towards Insadong for lunch.

We opted for a sit-down Korean restaurant and found Insadong Gujib down one of the alleyways.

We got ushered to the back of the restaurant, through the kitchen, where there was additional seating, found our call button to order, and made use of the handy-dandy utensil mats.

We ordered Beoseot-bulgogie:

And enjoyed our feast:

And so ended one more adventure in Seoul!

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