The last stop of our guided tour in Seoul is the Changdeokgung Palace, another Seoul’s national pride that made it to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list in 1997. Literally means “Palace of Illustrious Virtue”, Changdeokgung Palace was built in 1405 when the then Joseon King Taejong thought that the existing Gyeongbokgung Palace is inauspicious. As most palaces in Seoul, Changdeokgung Palace is a reconstruction (1610) after it was destroyed by fire during the Japanese invasion.

Also known as the Second Palace, Changdeokgung boasts 13 buildings on its palace grounds and 28 pavilions in its gardens. With a palace this big and architectured based on pungsu (feng shui) principles, I still wonder why George R. R. Martin has not incorporated this gem into its Game of Thrones show script yet.

Donhwamun Gate 돈화문, the two-storied building that serves as the main entrance to the Changdeokgung Palace 창덕궁 complex in Seoul, South Korea.
Donhwamun Gate 돈화문, the two-storied building that serves as the main entrance to the Changdeokgung Palace 창덕궁 complex in Seoul, South Korea.
One of the doors at the Changdeokgung Palace 창덕궁 complex in Seoul, South Korea that speaks of beauty.
One of the doors at the Changdeokgung Palace 창덕궁 complex in Seoul, South Korea that speaks of beauty.
The palace grounds right outside its main hall, the Injeongjeon Hall 인정전 at Changdeokgung Palace 창덕궁 complex in Seoul, South Korea.
The palace grounds right outside its main hall, the Injeongjeon Hall 인정전 at Changdeokgung Palace 창덕궁 complex in Seoul, South Korea.

 

INJEONGJEON HALL 인정전, the main throne hall of Changdeokgung Palace, was used for conducting major state affairs including the coronation of a new king, assembly of officials, and reception of foreign envoys. This, in theory, is where the real Game of Thrones should take action. Seven Kingdoms, my friend, your Iron Throne is out, Injeongjeon is in!

Injeongheon Hall 인정전, the main throne hall of Changdeokgung Palace 창덕궁 in Seoul, South Korea, was used for conducting major state affairs including the coronation of a new king, assembly of officials, and reception of foreign envoys.
Injeongheon Hall 인정전, the main throne hall of Changdeokgung Palace 창덕궁 in Seoul, South Korea, was used for conducting major state affairs including the coronation of a new king, assembly of officials, and reception of foreign envoys.
Injeongheon Hall 인정전, the main throne hall of Changdeokgung Palace 창덕궁 in Seoul, South Korea, was used for conducting major state affairs including the coronation of a new king, assembly of officials, and reception of foreign envoys.
Injeongheon Hall 인정전, the main throne hall of Changdeokgung Palace 창덕궁 in Seoul, South Korea, was used for conducting major state affairs including the coronation of a new king, assembly of officials, and reception of foreign envoys.
A closer view of Injeongheon Hall 인정전, the main throne hall of Changdeokgung Palace 창덕궁 in Seoul, South Korea. The details of the roof is artistically beautiful!
A closer view of Injeongheon Hall 인정전, the main throne hall of Changdeokgung Palace 창덕궁 in Seoul, South Korea. The details of the roof is artistically beautiful!
The throne inside the Injeongheon Hall 인정전 of Changdeokgung Palace 창덕궁 in Seoul, South Korea. Not quite the Iron Throne but this is the seat of power everyone will die for.
The throne inside the Injeongheon Hall 인정전 of Changdeokgung Palace 창덕궁 in Seoul, South Korea. Not quite the Iron Throne but this is the seat of power everyone will die for.

 

Of course, the two boys with me, hubby Jon and his friend, JT, won’t let this opportunity pass them by. While standing in front of the Injeongheon Hall 인정전, the main throne hall of Changdeokgung Palace 창덕궁 in Seoul, South Korea, they were probably plotting how to win the throne. Nice try Unsullieds!

Hubby Jon and his friend, JT, standing in front of the Injeongheon Hall 인정전, the main throne hall of Changdeokgung Palace 창덕궁 in Seoul, South Korea, probably plotting how to win the throne.
Hubby Jon and his friend, JT, standing in front of the Injeongheon Hall 인정전, the main throne hall of Changdeokgung Palace 창덕궁 in Seoul, South Korea, probably plotting how to win the throne.

 

COURTYARD

The courtyard in front of Injeongheon Hall 인정전 at Changdeokgung Palace 창덕궁 in Seoul, South Korea.
The courtyard in front of Injeongheon Hall 인정전 at Changdeokgung Palace 창덕궁 in Seoul, South Korea.
The courtyard on the side of Injeongheon Hall 인정전 at Changdeokgung Palace 창덕궁 in Seoul, South Korea.
The courtyard on the side of Injeongheon Hall 인정전 at Changdeokgung Palace 창덕궁 in Seoul, South Korea.

 

HUIJEONGDANG HALL

Huijeongdang Hall 희정당 is the King's work station. The hall's interior design is heavily influenced by the West and the drive way is built to accommodate the King's newly introduced modern mode of transportation, the car.
Huijeongdang Hall 희정당 is the King’s work station. The hall’s interior design is heavily influenced by the West and the drive way is built to accommodate the King’s newly introduced modern mode of transportation, the car.
A peek inside the Huijeongdang Hall 희정당 of Changdeokgung Palace 창덕궁 in Seoul, South Korea.
A peek inside the Huijeongdang Hall 희정당 of Changdeokgung Palace 창덕궁 in Seoul, South Korea.

 

Apparently, hubby Jon and JT weren’t the only souls hungry for the throne. I checked the Daejojeon Hall  (Queen’s chamber) myself in the hope of finding clues on how to win the throne, ideally not the Cersei Lannister way.

Standing in front of the Daejojeon Hall (Queen's chamber) 대조전 at Changdeokgung Palace 창덕궁 in Seoul, South Korea.
Standing in front of the Daejojeon Hall (Queen’s chamber) 대조전 at Changdeokgung Palace 창덕궁 in Seoul, South Korea.
A peek inside the Daejojeon Hall (Queen's chamber) 대조전 at Changdeokgung Palace 창덕궁 in Seoul, South Korea.
A peek inside the Daejojeon Hall (Queen’s chamber) 대조전 at Changdeokgung Palace 창덕궁 in Seoul, South Korea.

 

Or maybe sneak into the back of Huijeongdang, the King’s residence, and win the throne. Eflida, the King Slayer! Ugh.

The back portion of Huijeongdang Hall (희정당) or the King's Chamber at Changdeokgung Palace 창덕궁 in Seoul, South Korea.
The back portion of Huijeongdang Hall (희정당) or the King’s Chamber at Changdeokgung Palace 창덕궁 in Seoul, South Korea.

 

But I was reminded by the Starks of virtues and Daenerys’ morals to uphold, so I just took a last look of the palace and called it a day.

Changdeokgung Palace 창덕궁 in Seoul, South Korea.
Changdeokgung Palace 창덕궁 in Seoul, South Korea.
View of Donhwamun Gate 돈화문 looking out from the inside of Changdeokgung Palace 창덕궁 complex in Seoul, South Korea.
View of Donhwamun Gate 돈화문 looking out from the inside of Changdeokgung Palace 창덕궁 complex in Seoul, South Korea.

 

I didn’t get the Seven Kingdoms, but I experienced the Changdeokgung moment, perhaps the only closest thing I can get. We had to say goodbye to our wonderful tour guide, Mr. Mark, and thanked him for the fun. All these memories are all to be treasured for until we get old. I am pretty sure Hodor agrees.

Changdeokgung Palace 창덕궁 complex in Seoul, South Korea.
Changdeokgung Palace 창덕궁 complex in Seoul, South Korea.

 

TRAVELLER’S NOTE : Visit the Changdeokgung Palace 창덕궁 complex in the afternoon if you intend to avoid the big crowd. There also gigantic bowls on top of the stone platform in front of the Injeongjeon Hall which nobody can miss.They are called Deumeu  드므 and were meant to put out fire if there is any. In theory, these Deumeu were meant to scare away the fire demon called Bulgwisin 불귀신 or Hwama 화마 so that when they look into the water, they will be frightened by its own reflection and would go away. Some scenes fromthe Korean TV miniseries Daejanggeum 대장금, or Jewel in the Palace were also shot here.

The big bowls on top of the stone platform in front of the Injeongjeon Hall at Changdeokgung Palace 창덕궁 complex are called Deumeu  드므 and were meant to put out fire.
The big bowls on top of the stone platform in front of the Injeongjeon Hall at Changdeokgung Palace 창덕궁 complex are called Deumeu 드므 and were meant to put out fire.

 

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