There are five major palaces in Seoul, built during the Joseon dynasty by following the principles of Confucianism. The Gyeongbukgung is the biggest and most famous of all located in the center of Gwanghwamun square. The Chandeokgung is acclaimed to be the prettiest of all and a must-go place during the cherry blossoms and the fall season. The Changgyeongung was a part of the Chandeokgung until the Japanese invasion when it was separated and made into a zoo and a botanical garden. This palace is also the place where Jang Geum of the famous Korean Drama Dae Jang Geum- The renowned cook turned physician is said to have lived.
According to Feng Shui principles, the best place for a palace is with a stream in the front and with the mountains in the back. Hence the artificial stream was built in the entrance of the palace.
Haechi is now the mascot of Seoul. It is a mythical animal which is a part lion and part dragon. I am reminded very much of the stone "Yaalli" protecting the Temples!
The beautiful painting is an important Korean artefact denotes the Yin and Yan and is also found on the Korean 10,000won bill.
|The Changgyeonggung at Seoul on a grey, gloomy, rainy day|
|The beautiful patterns on the gate of the Changgyeonggung palace.|
|The huge door of the Eastern gate of the Changgyeongung. It reminds me of the huge Temple doors in South India.|
|The Forbidden stream in the Changgyeong palace.|
|The Haechi is a mythical animal which is a guardian of justice which could distinguish between the good and evil and also said to protect the palace.|
|Haechi, the mascot of Seoul|
|Another protection symbol- The Phoenix|
|The beautiful roof of the palace with protective images atop. The first one from the right is the Monk and the second is the Monkey king.|
|Graceful inclinations of the palace roof|
|All important structures in a palace had this bucket of water to ward away the "Evil Fire".|
|Beautiful patterns on the palace.|
|Patterns on the roof of the Changgyeong palace|
|Beautiful throne with the uniquely Korean painting of the important symbols. 5-mountains, with the sun and moon, waterfalls and pine trees.|
|Ondol is the floor heating with hot water pipes which is the prevalent home-heating method in Korea.|
|Garden in the Changgyeong gung, close to the botanical garden|
|Artificial lake in the Changgyeong gung.|