Archive for History of Korea

Lift the veil of Deoksugung

Posted in 99.9% of Seoul with tags , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2009 by Lydia

건물 덕수궁
Lift the veil of Deoksugung
By Gim Hyeon-jeong
Thousands of people from all over the nation were in flood at Deoksugung to see its amazing sceneries on 24 October 2009. What makes them take visits to the palace? Well, the palace located in the heart of Seoul not only has much to offer in terms of tourist attractions- breathtaking showcases and the historical monuments of the Joseon Dynasty-, also has mysterious appeals.

“It is better to try to work with, rather than against, Mother Nature.” This is the main idea of the palace and Korean ancestors. It is believed that he(the ancestor) actually was the first person to put forth the concept of conservation, that man should live in harmony with nature. Their thought was reflected in Deoksugung very well. Danchong, a picture of various colors, has every colors of the Great Earth. And Bush(whose pronunciation is same with the vice President of the United States) is a kind of net which prevents birds from being killed by big snakes.
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And today, Seoul is stepping up efforts to get successful combination view of old and new. There are rows of tall buildings stand as certificate of the advances made in the modern world in the background of the palace.
덕수궁21 석조전도로05But these are not all of it. Behind this gorgeous looks, Deoksugung has long been stood the trials. That’s the reason why the palace looked kind of puzzled.

A peep in to its checked history says that it was originally the residence of Prince Wolsan, the elder brother of King Seongjong. However, after the palaces in the capital were collapsed by fire during the Japanese invasion of 1592, King Seonjo moved here and used it as his place temporarily.

In its heyday, it is said that it was a huge complex, three times the size it is today. But when Emperor Gojong threw off the throne in 1907, its status was downgraded to a residence. And after Gojong died in 1919, most of the remaining buildings were removed and the land was redeveloped as a public park. And during the Japanese occupation, it suffered so much alteration that its original form is nearly impossible to discern.

However, it is said that It served as the symbolic heart of Korea through several national crises, including the Japanese invasion of 1592 and the tumultuous closing years of the Great Han Empire.
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