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  • Writer's pictureKirk

Gyeongbokgung Palace - Changing of the Guard

Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul, South Korea was constructed in 1395. It was restored and expanded in 1553 and housed the royal family at the time. Japanese invasions destroyed the palace on multiple occasions in the proceeding centuries.

In 1989 the Korean government went about major restorations of historically significant buildings including this palace. It is currently at 40% of its former glory.

I was in a hotel across the street from it and decided to part with a two dollar bill (3,000 KWN actually) to visit the palace. I really had minimal interest in it , but I knew I could be in and out in an hour and it was so close, so why not? I'm not really a museum person as I'm more interested in the now, so this was not a usual stop for me.

Typical oriental style buildings.

Inside one of the palace rooms. The rooms were all lightly furnished. Lots of room for a ballroom dance.

The palace building itself was not impressive to me. But I was impressed with the size of the palace grounds and how well maintained the area was kept. It was a nice walk in the park

Being in the middle of a busy area of Seoul, the city serves as a reminder you're not in the ancient past.

When I exited the palace I was unaware it was the time of the changing of the guard. This takes place twice per day, at 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. This really serves no purpose that I know other than a publicity move to bring awareness to the palace.

It works, apparently, as it did draw a small crowd. I decided to join to watch. I was fortunate as I garnered the prime position for watching by accident.

Loved this guy!

Sure, this is a lot of pomp. I wouldn't have made the effort to make a special trip to see this, but I was already there. The 20 minutes it took to change the guard was a bit long. Why can't they just punch their time cards and do a quick high five?

A short video of the guard change if you're interested.

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