Deoksugung Seoul

November 07, 2021

Two palaces with different architectures in one complex, one with traditional Joseon style and the another one with western style. This is Deoksugung, one of five royal palaces remained in Seoul, South Korea.

Deoksugung (덕수궁)
Sejong-daero 99, Jung-gu, Seoul 04519, City Hall Station exit 2.
09:00-21:00, Closed on Monday (Ticket 1,000won)

Deoksugung Palace means "palace of virtue and longevity” in the spirit of praying for long life for Emperor Gojong. It is built at the term of the 20th century, Deoksugung Palace is the smallest of Seoul’s palaces. Deoksugung Palace is virtually two palaces in one-a Korean traditional complex blessed with numerous examples of late-Joseon palace architecture, and a Western-style palace complex with two imposing neoclassical structures and Korea’s first Western-style garden.

The Korean Traditional Complex



Junghwajeon Hall is the main hall of Deoksugung Palace. It was the hall in which state affairs were conducted, official meetings held, and foreign envoys received. Then, Seogeodang is the only building at Deoksugung with a two-tiered roof. Because it is not painted, Seogeodang resembles a typical house of that time. 


A building that looks different from the Jeoson era architecture, it was built in 1990 by a Russian architect named Sabatin. This is the Jeonggwanheon, which can be translated as the "place from which to watch the garden silently". The Emperor Gojong liked to rest here, drinking tea, listening to music, and even having a party.

The Western-style Palace

The Building of Daehan Empire History Museum (석조전 대한제국역사관)

This is Seokjojen Hall, "the stone house". It was designed by a British architect, Harding in 1900-1910. It was used for the residence of Emperor Gojong on the second floor, first floor for a reception area, and ground for a waiting room for servants.

Without reservation, we only can visit ground floor, which is being the history museum of Daehan Empire (대한제국).

The National Song of Daehan Empire

Passport of the Korean (Daehan) Empire 

The Passport

First Floor


Let me know you some tips for getting here!

1) Visit Seokjojeon Hall, the Daehan Empire History Museum

We can visit area of Deoksugung with ticket 1,000won, but not for going inside the Seokjojeon Hall. You need a reservation in advance here. But, I am a foreigner, and don't understand about reservation. 

Don't worry, there is special treatment for us. We can reservation on site in the first building of the museum, you need to write down your name there. Only for 10 people, and the English time only 11:50, 14:50. You may visit the Information Center which is located in the main entrance of Deoksugung to ask details about it.

Information Center

2) Korean Dishes for Lunch or Dinner in Surrounding Areas

There are a lot of Korean Restaurant nearby, such as kalguksu (Korean noodle), haejangguk (Korean hangover soup), Hanu beef and others. My friend and I would like to try hanu beef with Korean style restaurant ambience here, but unfortunately we didn't know that the restaurant must be reserved in advance. Next time we will try this restaurant with advance reservation.

So we chose other restaurant, it is haejang-guk (Korean hangover soup). Haejangguk is made from pork offal. We suddenly remembered Indonesian cuisine which also has soup from meat offal. Although not pork, but 'soto babat' is made from beef offal.


3) The Surrounding Areas - Autumn Season

We were very lucky to come in early November when there are a lot autumn leaves. The area around Deoksugung, namely Jeongdong-gil, is full of maple trees. This is a good time to take a photo with the maple tree in the background, especially for those of us who don't have autumn in our home country.


Me and friend in Deoksugung

** This content was supported by the 2021 Korea Foundation Workshop for Korea Foundation Field Trip.

Seoul, 7 November 2021

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