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Archive : Korea

Seoul (서울, Hanyang, Hanseong) has been the capital of Korea since 1394. The city suffered while Korea was a colony of Japan (1910-1945), and huge damage was done in the war that followed the country's partition into Soviet and American halves. The north and south are officially still at war in 2016.

Gwanghwamun, entrace to Gyeongbokgung Palace. The gate has been destroyed several times, and most recently reconstructed in 2010. Heungnyemun. Colourful soldiers.
Heungnyemun. Geunjeongmun. Geunjeongmun.
Geunjeongjeon (1867), the throne hall of Gyeongbokgung Palace.
Gyeongbokgung Palace was the principal palace of the Joseon dynasty, and dates from 1395, although for 250 years of its history it was abandoned. Moreover, many of its buildings were destroyed during the Japanese period, and the
Japanese General Government Building was constructed over the most
southern courtyard (including Heungnyemun).
Geunjeongjeon. Geunjeongjeon. Intricate bracket system.
Pretty door. Geunjeongjeon. The throne of Korea (the Phoenix Throne).
Sajeongjeon. Gyotaejeon. Peaceful corner.
Gyeonghoeru (1867), the banqueting hall. Gyeonghoeru. Hyangwonjeong.
Chimney (connected to the ondol). National Folk Museum. National Folk Museum.
Bukchon village. Old gate. Hanok house in Bukchon village.
Bukchon village. Bukchon village. Bukchon village (with girls in hanbok).
The bell tower (Bosingak). Wongaksa Pagoda (1467). Tapgol Park.
Seoul City Hall (built by the Japanese). Seoul (Anglican) Cathedral (Arthur Stansfield Dixon, 1922). Colourful guards.
Junghwajeon, the throne hall of Deoksugung Palace. Junghwajeon. Junghwamun.
Junghwajeon. The throne in Junghwajeon. Intricate bracketing.
Deoksugung Palace was the home of the last emperor of independent Korea, Gojong. Each throne in Korea has an irworobongdo painting behind it showing
the sun, moon and five mountains.
Seokjojeon ('stone hall', G.R. Harding, 1910). Seokjojeon annex. Seogeodang.
Seoul Station (Tsukamoto Yasushi, 1925). Clear echoes of Antwerp Central, Lucerne and Tokyo Station (by Tatsuno Kingo, who worked with Josiah Conder and Burges). The former Daehan Hospital (now a museum). Other buildings at Deoksugung Palace.
Gyeonghuigung Palace.
Gyeonghuigung Palace.
Gyeonghuigung Palace. Sungjeongjeon. Gyeonghuigung Palace.
Sungjeongjeon. Gyeonghuigung Palace. Sungjeongjeon.
Gyeonghuigung Palace. King Taejo (1335-1408). The imperial seal of Emperor Gojong.
Gyeongcheonsa Pagoda. One of the Crowns Of Silla (from Geumnyeongchong). One of the Crowns Of Silla (from Hwangnamdaechong).
Dongdaemun, one of the city gates. Dongdaemun Design Plaza (by Dame Zaha Hadid). Dongdaemun Design Plaza.
Namdaemun. The War Memorial Museum. The War Memorial Museum.
The War Memorial. B52 Stratofortress. Bongeunsa temple.
Bongeunsa temple. Bongeunsa temple. Bongeunsa temple.
Bongeunsa temple. Exquisite decoration at Bongeunsa temple. Exquisite decoration at Bongeunsa temple.
Donhwamun (1609), the entrance to Changdeokgung Palace. Changdeokgung Palace. Bongeunsa temple.
Injeongjeon (1805). Injeongjeon.
Seonjeongjeon (1647), the only building with glazed tiles I saw in Korea. Injeongjeon. Injeongjeon.
Seonjeongjeon at Changdeokgung Palace is one of the few remaining buildings in Korea which retains its blue glazed tiles. Sadly none of the reconstructions have included them. Also notable at Changdeokgung Palace are the many chimneys (unheard of in Japan and China) which function as part of
the ondol system of under-floor heating.
Ondol chimney. Huijeongdang. Huijeongdang.
Seunghwaru. Changdeokgung Palace. Nakseonjae.
Changdeokgung Palace. Changdeokgung Palace. Changdeokgung Palace.
Honghwamun (1611), the entrance to Changyeonggung Palace. Myeongjeongjeon (1611). Honghwamun.
Changyeonggung Palace. Throne in Myeongjeongjeon. Yanghwadang.
King Seongjong's placenta chamber (taesil). Greenhouse (1910) at Changyeonggung Palace - the first in Korea. Bonsai trees.
Jongmyo shrine - the royal ancestral shrine.
Jongmyo shrine (1608).
The taegeuk, a symbol widely used in Korea. Hyeoreung, the tomb of Queen Danui. Sungneung, the tomb of King Hyeonjong.
Wolleung, the tomb of King Yeongjo. Hwireung, the tomb of Queen Jangnyeol. Hwireung.
Geonwollung, the tomb of King Taejo (founder of Joseon dynasty). Hyeolleung, the tomb of King Munjong and his queen. A hongsalmun.
Mongneung, the tomb of King Seonjo and two queens. Sureung, the tomb of King Heonjong's parents. Sureung.
In Guri, east of the centre of Seoul, one finds some tombs of the Joseon dynasty. Each consists of a burial mound, a small shrine and a hongsalmun (gate), which has its equivalents in the torii of Japan and pailou of China.

Hwaseong Fortress in Suwon (수원), makes an ideal day trip from Seoul.

Paldalmun. Paldalmun. Yeomingak.
Hwaseong Fortress. The bell of Hyowon. Seojangdae, at the summit of Paldal mountain.
Hwaseong Haenggung. Suwon Jeil Church - terrifying pseudo-gothic. Hwaseomun.
Janganmun. Janganmun. Janganmun.
Hwaseong Fortress. Hwaseong Fortress. Hwahongmun.
Hwaseong Haenggung. Hwaseong Haenggung. Hwaseong Haenggung.