A Beautiful Yet Tragic Deoksugung Palace

You can now book Your Deoksugung Tours by clicking here

Deoksugung 덕수궁 is one of the 5 grand palaces* of the Joseon Dynasty.

Deoksu = Virtuous longevity
Gung = Palace
Deoksugung = The palace of virtuous longevity

*The 5 grand palaces: Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung, Changgyeonggung, Gyeonghuigung, Deoksugung

Why is this palace tragic?

It was a palace that marked the end of the Joseon Dynasty. Inside the palace, there’s a building called “Jungmyeong-jeon (중명전).” It’s where the Japan-Korea Treaty of 1905, the Eulsa Treaty, was made between the Empire of Japan and the Korean Empire in 1905. This treaty took away Korea’s diplomatic sovereignty and eventually made Korea a colony of Japan.

Why is this palace beautiful?

– It has a different, unique vibe than the other 4 grand royal palaces as it both has traditional and Western-style architecture.

– The palace is famous for its beautiful stonewall walkways. Many people often visit here to take a walk and enjoy the season.

1) Deoksugung stonewall walkway: The walkway located outside the stonewall around Deoksugung.

2) Jeongdong walkway: Starting at Deoksugung stonewall walkway, the walkway is filled with ginkgo trees and many historical buildings.

Beautiful Stonewall Walkways

It operates a car-free street from 10am to 2pm on weekdays and 10am to 5pm on Saturdays.

A Mixture of Traditional and Western-style Architecture

What makes the palace even more beautiful is the fact that it’s surrounded by the modern buildings.

National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art at Deoksugung

The west building of Seokjojeon is now open to the public as the National Museum of Moder and Contemporary Art Deoksugung.

A Little Bit of History

It wasn’t until 1907 that this palace was given the name “Deoksugung.” Before that, it was used as a residential home of the king’s family and a temporary palace.

It served as a royal palace after the Imjin War (Japanese Invasion of Korea) in 1592, and was promoted to an official palace in 1611 and given the name “Gyeongungung” during the Gwanghaegun period.

A Little Bit of Trivial

  • There’s a myth that lovers break up if they walk along Deoksugung stonewall walkway together (There is a lot of Korean love songs talking about this walkway).
  • Korea’s first Methodist church, Jeongdong Jeil Church, founded by Henry Appenzeller in 1885, is located on the Jeongdong Walkway.
  • Deoksugung is closed on Mondays.

✅You can now book Your Deoksugung Tours by clicking here

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