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At the gates between worlds, Seoul

Royal palaces of the Joseon dynasty .

Seoul. The city where history walks down the street, dressed up in traditional costumes. The place where, when passing through the three gates of each palace, you feel like travelling through time and arriving in a place filled with captivating legends about historic battles or painful, impossible love stories.

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Seoul has many places like this, both traditional villages that offer you the opportunity to stroll along the narrow and cobbled streets admiring the old houses and palaces, full of color and emotion, where at every moment you feel the excitement of history. In these places, many tourists, as well as locals, prefer to dress in traditional costumes and trully live their experience.

Today I’m going to talk about two famous palaces in Seoul, or even better I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves: Gyeongbokgung Palace and Changdeokgung Palace.

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The entrance to each palace is done through three gates, each gate being decorated with mythological elements designed to protect the palaces from dangers. Such elements are present on almost all buildings, along with messages written for the same purpose.

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The palaces follow the same architectural pattern, but each is unique through its story. If the Gyeongbokgung Palace was burned during the Japanese occupation (1592-1598) and rebuilt in the 19th century, one of the most important moments in this country’s history took place here: under the guidance of Emperor Sejong the Great, the alphabet was born – hangul. His statue standing in front of the palace is always surrounded by flowers brought by people who are still grateful for this achievement.

The Changdeokgung is remarkable due to the vastness of the area, but the most representative place in this building complex is the Secret Garden. It lies over ​​nearly 32 hectares and was the place where only the royal family had access. This name was given because even high officials were not allowed to enter without the king’s consent, being considered the private place of the family. The lotus pond and the beautifully colored pavilions still make you feel like you have stepped into a place from another world, away from noise or wars.

And yet, sad stories are still shadowing those places.

Photos by THE Most

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Seoul. Orasul unde istoria se plimba pe strada, imbracata in costumele traditionale. Locul unde simti ca trecand de cele trei porti ale fiecarui palat, calatoresti in timp si ajungi intr-un loc incarcat cu povesti captivante despre lupte istorice sau iubiri imposibile si dureroase.

Seoul are multe locuri de acest gen, atat satele traditionale care iti ofera posibilitatea sa te plimbi pe stradutele inguste si pietruite admirand casele vechi, cat si palatele, pline de culoare si emotie, unde la fiecare pas simti emotia istoriei. In aceste locuri multi turisti, dar si localnici, prefera sa se imbrace in costume traditionale si sa se traiasca cu adevarat experienta.

Azi am sa vorbesc despre doua palate renumite din Seoul, sau mai bine spus am sa las imaginile sa vorbeasca de la sine: Gyeongbokgung Palace si Changdeokgung Palace.

Intrarile in fiecare palat se face prin cate trei porti, fiecare poarta fiind ornata cu elemente mitologice menite sa fereasca palatele de pericole. Astfel de elemente sunt prezente pe aproape toate cladirile, impreuna cu mesaje scrise cu acelasi scop.

Palatele urmeaza acelasi tipar arhitectural, insa fiecare este unic prin povestea locului. Daca Gyeongbokgung Palace a fost ars in perioada ocupatiei japoneze (1592–1598) si reconstruit in secolul 19, aici a avut loc unul dintre cele mai importante momente din istoria acestei tari : sub indrumarea imparatului Sejong the Great a luat nastere alfabetul – hangul. Statuia lui pozitionata in fata palatului, este mereu imprejmuita de flori aduse de oameni care si in prezent ii sunt recunoscatori pentru aceasta realizare.

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Changdeokgung Palace se reamarca prin imensitatea spatiului ocupat, insa cel mai reprezentativ loc in acest complex de cladiri il reprezinta Gradina Secreta. Aceasta se intinde pe o suprafata de aproape 32 hecatare si era locul unde avea acees doar familia regala. Numele acesta ii era dat pentru ca nici inaltii oficiali nu aveau acces fara acordul regelui, fiind considerat locul privat al familiei. Lacul cu nuferi si pavilioanele frumos colorate, inca te fac sa te simti ca ai pasit intr-un loc aflat intr-o alta lume, ferita de zgomot sau razboaie.

Si cu toate astea, povesti triste umbresc si acum acele locuri.

Photos by THE Most

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