The Changgyeong Palace in Seoul

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There are five major palaces in Seoul, built during the Joseon dynasty by following the principles of Confucianism. The Gyeongbukgung is the biggest and most famous of all located in the center of Gwanghwamun square. The Chandeokgung is acclaimed to be the prettiest of all and a must-go place during the cherry blossoms and the fall season. The Changgyeongung was a part of the Chandeokgung until the Japanese invasion when it was separated and made into a zoo and a botanical garden. This palace is also the place where Jang Geum of the famous Korean Drama Dae Jang Geum- The renowned cook turned physician is said to have lived.

The Changgyeonggung at Seoul
The Changgyeonggung at Seoul on a grey, gloomy, rainy day
The beautiful patterns on the gate of the Changgyeonggung palace in Seoul
The beautiful patterns on the gate of the Changgyeonggung palace.
The huge door of the Changgyeonggung palace
The huge door of the Eastern gate of the Changgyeongung. It reminds me of the huge Temple doors in South India.
The Forbidden Stream in the Changgyeong palace in Seoul
The Forbidden stream in the Changgyeong palace.
According to Feng Shui principles, the best place for a palace is with a stream in the front and with the mountains in the back. Hence the artificial stream was built in the entrance of the palace.

The Haichi and Phoenix to protect the palace
The Haechi is a mythical animal which is a guardian of justice which could distinguish between the good and evil and also said to protect the palace. 
Haechi is now the mascot of Seoul. It is a mythical animal which is a part lion and part dragon. I am reminded very much of the stone "Yaalli" protecting the Temples!
Haechi, the mascot of Seoul
Haechi, the mascot of Seoul
The phoenix is also a symbol of protection
Another protection symbol- The Phoenix
Beautiful roof structure and animals atop.
The beautiful roof of the palace with protective images atop. The first one from the right is the Monk and the second is the Monkey king.
Graceful inclines of the palace roofs
Graceful inclinations of the palace roof
The bucket of water which is said to ward off the evil fire
All important structures in a palace had this bucket of water to ward away the "Evil Fire".
Beautiful patterns on the doors of the Changgyeong palace in Seoul
Beautiful patterns on the palace.
Patterns on the roof
Patterns on the roof of the Changgyeong palace
Beautiful throne with the uniquely Korean painting of the important symbols.  5-mountains, with the sun and moon, waterfalls and pine trees.
The beautiful painting is an important Korean artefact denotes the Yin and Yan and is also found on the Korean 10,000won bill.

Ondol place in the palace
Ondol is the floor heating with hot water pipes which is the prevalent home-heating method in Korea. 
garden in the Changgyeongung palace
Garden in the Changgyeong gung, close to the botanical garden

Artificial lake in the Changgyeong gung.


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