Gyeongbokgung Palace was at the heart of Seoul and, indeed, deemed auspicious according to the traditional practice of geomancy. In front of Gwanghwamun Gate, the main entrance to the palace, ran Yukjo-geori (Street of Six Ministries, today’s Sejongno), home to major government offices. Along the central axis upon which Gwanghwamun Gate stood was the nucleus of the palace, including the throne hall, council hall and king’s residence.
N Seoul Tower
Seoul Tower opened to the public on October 15, 1980 and has since become a major tourist attraction. The 236.7m Seoul Tower sits atop Namsan Mountain (243m), Seoul Tower offers panoramic views of Seoul and the surrounding areas. The view is so stunning that many consider Seoul Tower the best tower in Asia.
Thirty years and countless visitors later, as the structure was renamed ‘N Seoul Tower.’ The letter ‘N’ stands for the tower’s ‘new’ look, which resulted from a 15 billion won remodeling in Dec 2005. With the new lighting system and changes to the tower’s overall color scheme, event coordinators can now decorate the tower for each new season or event.
Visitors are encouraged to try the N Grill western-style revolving restaurant (one rotation every 48 minutes) and the Sky Restroom (an artfully decorated space). Both offer breathtaking views of the cityscape.
Changdeokgung Palace was the second royal villa built following the construction of Gyeongbukgung Palace in 1405. It was the principal palace for many of the Joseon kings and is the most well-preserved of the five remaining royal Joseon palaces. The palace grounds are comprised of a public palace area, a royal family residence building, and the rear garden. Known as a place of rest for the kings, the rear garden boasts a gigantic tree that is over 300 years old, a small pond, and a pavilion.
Secret garden of Changdeokgung
The garden for the private use of the king had been called ‘Geumwon’ (금원, 禁苑, Forbidden garden) because even high officials were not allowed to enter without the king’s permission. It had also been called ‘Naewon’ (내원, 內苑, ‘Inner garden’). Today Koreans often call it ‘Biwon’ (비원, 秘院, Secret garden) which derived from the office of same name in the late 19th century. Though the garden had many other names, the one most frequently used through Joseon dynasty period was ‘Huwon’