South Korea is a country with a rich and fascinating history. In different years, the representatives of various dynasties ruled here, under whose leadership the palace complexes and fortresses were built. Thanks to this, now in South Korea there are many castles, decorated in traditional and western style, and each of them deserves special attention. The six largest complexes are located in the capital, while the rest are scattered all over the country.
The largest royal palace in Seoul was built in 1395 during the Gyeongbokgung era. Unlike other castles of the capital of South Korea, it is located in the northern part of the city. Hence its second name - the Northern Palace. In all of history, he twice suffered from the actions of the Japanese: first during the Japanese invasion of 1592-1598, and then during the Japanese colonization in 1911.
Now Gyeongbokgung Castle is one of the main attractions of South Korea . Visit it is worth it to see the change of the guard of the royal guard, whose soldiers are dressed in the Joseon era. During the tour of this castle of Korea you can visit such sites as:
- the throne room of Qinjonjon;
- The Hangwonjeong building, which houses the collection of the Museum of the Korean nation;
- palace gate Honnemun, next to which is the National Museum of Korea ;
- pavilion Gyeongveru, set right in the middle of the lake.
Changdeokgung Palace Complex
Here in Seoul there is another equally beautiful castle of Korea - Changdeokgung , which is also called the "palace of prosperous virtue". It was erected for the emperor Thehedzhon in 1405-1412 and until 1872 simultaneously served as the residence of the imperial family and the location of the government of the country. The last king who lived in the palace of Changdeokgung was Sunjong.
The area of one of the largest castles in Korea is 58 hectares. It was always distinguished by an unusual architecture, thanks to which it perfectly fit into the local terrain. The Changdeokgung complex is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
During the reign of the Koryo and Joseon dynasties, this castle was used as the summer residence of the imperial family. It was built in 1418 just where the old Sugangun Palace used to be.
The main attractions of Changgyeonggong Castle in Korea are:
- The Myeonjeongjeon pavilion is the former official residence of the king;
- Queen Thongmyojo pavilion;
- the large pond of Chundanchi;
- Sunmundan Hall, built on the slope of the mountain.
During the Japanese occupation, a botanical garden, a large park and a zoo were created here. Now the territory is decorated with artificial ponds and arched bridges.
In the western part of the capital of South Korea, there is the Toxugun Castle , also called the Western Palace. Approximately from the end of the XIV century, it housed the residence of the royal family of Joseon. This function he ceased to perform in 1618, when the Changdeokgung Palace was rebuilt.
From other castles located in the capital of South Korea, the Toksugun Palace is distinguished by the fact that on its territory there are buildings in the western style:
- Pavilion Zhongwanghon, built in 1900 by the order of King Gojong;
- the building of Sokjojong, built in 10 years in 1910.
Now in the building of Sokjojong in this castle of South Korea is located the Japanese art gallery, the exhibition of palace inventory and the National Center for Contemporary Art .
The former president of South Korea, Ms. Pak Kun Hye, chose Chonwade Palace as the official residence. It was built in the Seoul district of Chonny in a traditional Korean style. For the roofing, blue tiles were used, because of which this South Korean castle is better known as the "Blue House". It was built on the site where the royal palace of the Joseon Dynasty was formerly located.
Visit the castle, in which the President of South Korea works, can only be organized tours . Here you can walk around the garden, decorated with fountains, statues and flower beds.
This castle was built in the capital of Korea in 1623 and was used as a so-called royal villa. It included about a hundred large and small buildings. In 1908, during the Japanese occupation, part of these buildings were destroyed, other buildings were used to accommodate the Japanese school. After the country gained independence, a large-scale reconstruction of the Kyonhigun Castle was carried out. Now it houses the Dongu University and the Shilla Hotel.
Provincial castles of South Korea
Outside the capital there is also a wide variety of castles and fortresses that played an important role in different periods of its history:
- Castle Jinjuseong , built in Korea in 1592 during the so-called Three Kingdoms. In the days of the Koryo dynasty, it was called Chokseoksoun, and under the rule of the Joseon Dynasty - Jinxiuzon. The castle was built on the banks of the Namgang River , which served as a natural trench, which was strategically important in the war years. Now in this castle of South Korea are located:
- the temples of Chokseokna and Changels;
- the memorial to Kim Shi-min;
- the Jinju National Museum;
- the sanctuary of Uigis.
- Ruins of the ancient Suncheon complex are located in Sunchon. The castle was built by Japanese generals Ukita Hiddi and Teddah Takatora with the help of mud and stones. Originally it was used as an outpost, which consisted of three small fortresses, three main stone castles and 12 gates. At the same time, it could host at least 14,000 soldiers. Ruins Suncheon - the only more or less surviving castle of Korea from all that were located in the southern region.
- Gochangeupseong Fortress. Traveling around Kochang County, you should definitely visit the ruins of this ancient castle. It was built in 1453 and was used as a governmental and military fortification of the Joseon era. The castle is an example of the traditional fortress architecture of Korea. To appreciate this, as well as the beauty of local landscapes can be during a walk in the neighborhood.
- Hwaseong , also known as the Brilliant Castle. In the capital of Kengi-do province, Suwon , one of the largest castles of South Korea is located. It was built in 1794-1796 by King Chonjo of the Joseon Dynasty in memory of the executed father - Prince Sado. The fortress surrounds most of the center of Suwon. Behind its walls is the palace of King Jeongjo Haenggung, which in 1997 was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.