I loved how much Seoul embraced both their old and new cultures. Scattered among the modern skyscrapers are structures from the Joseon Dynasty of the late 1300’s+. The Koreans have a strong desire to remember the traditions of the past, from what I can tell.
Above is Sungnyemun: “South Gate.” Considered as Korea’s “National Treasure No. 1,” this is one of the 6 remaining gates that surrounded ancient Seoul. It has been rebuilt after the Japan Occupation of early 1900’s, Korean War and an arsonist took their toll. Today they perform a twice daily changing of the guard ceremony for tourists, as it was performed centuries ago. We felt so fortunate to be there to witness this spectacular event in person. Video below:
Another gate, that was closed today, was next to the central Government building in Seoul, at one end of what we consider like the mall of Washington, DC, called Gwanghwamun Square.
We we also got an opportunity to visit one of the original palaces from the Joseon era: a park era right in the middle of bustling Seoul. We were fortunate to get a personalized tour, and even get to see where the guard ceremony originates.
The pics below are Deoksugung Palace, Home of the Korean Royal Family of the Joeson Dynasty.
Reds and greens are symbolic colors in Korean architecture. Most of the ornate buildings we saw focused on 7sing these colors.
By chance, we also stumbled upon where that changing of the guard procession starts. They walk several blocks from here to the Sungnyemun Gate.