Visit Changgyeong Palace (sometimes also called Changgyeonggung Palace) to see South Korea’s royal history brought to life in the halls of an elegant historic building. Take in all the detail of this collection of beautiful buildings and outdoors space, built in the traditional South Korean style.
The history of Changgyeong Palace spans many centuries and two dynasties of Korean royalty. A palace has stood here for over 900 years, having first been built in 1104 during the rule of the Goryeo Dynasty. Come today, however, and find architecture more distinctly associated with the later Joseon Dynasty. The palace has been completely or partially rebuilt several times, first in 1418 by the Joseon Dynasty’s King Sejong, then again after serious damage was sustained during the late 16th-century Japanese invasion. The most recent major renovation of the building took place in 1983, although work continues to ensure the building is preserved.
Walk through the grand entryway to the impressive Myeongjeongjeon Hall to see one of the palace’s finest examples of architecture. This is one of the oldest sections of the complex and is a classic example of the 17th-century Joseon aesthetic. Imagine this space as it would have looked when it served its original purpose as the throne room. This was the palace’s star attraction and showpiece, the place where visiting officials would be entertained.
Learn about Korean royal life in the past as you explore. Visit the Hwangyeongjeon Hall, where male royals slept, and the nearby Gyeongchunjeon Hall. See the remarkable Angbuilgu Sundial, a feat of astronomical engineering that dates to 1434. Admire the beautiful stone carvings of the “Taesil,” shrines which once held the placentas and umbilical cords of royal children.
Changgyeong Palace is closed on Mondays, so check ahead before you come. Pay a fee for entrance. Come in the warmer months to attend some of the special events held here, such as tea ceremonies and historical reenactments.