Hwaseong, Suwon, South Korea

Only 19 miles south of Seoul lies South Korea’s only remaining walled fortress, Hwaseong. It surrounds Suwon city centre, and was completed in 1796 to house and honour the remains of Prince Sado. More on him in a moment. Within the fortress walls is Haenggung, the palace built by King Jeongjo in 1789. The evidence…

Gyeongbokgung, Seoul, South Korea

Completed in 1395, three years after the founding of the Joseon Dynasty, Gyeongbokgung was completed. The first of Seoul’s Great Palaces, it has been razed, left derelict, reconstructed, torn down, and reconstructed again in the subsequent 700 years. Arrive at the Gwanghwamun gate on the hour between 10:00 and 15:00 and you will witness the…

Changdeokgung, Seoul, South Korea

One of Seoul’s Five Great Palaces, Changdeokgung was built during the Joseon Dynasty, after Gyeongbukgung. It came about as part of a power struggle between members of the Royal Family. King Taejong had killed his own brothers in Gyeongbukgung, so built a new palace further to the east. This Palace is packed. I mean very,…