Tuesday, December 9, 2014

SARAH GOES TO SOUTH KOREA: KOREAN WAR MEMORIAL AND CHANGGYEONGGUNG PALACE

The next full day we were in Seoul, Jeff and I went to the Korean War Memorial and the Changgyeonggung Palace. ("Chang-g-young-g-young" The individual 'g's just kind of sit at the back of your throat like you're trying to swallow them--but don't swallow them or you won't be saying it right. It's a mouthful!)
 
Korean War Memorial
This is an F-51D Mustang. Jeff thought it was cool so I took a picture. For memories.
This is the Statue of Brothers. The outer portion depicts a South Korean officer and his younger brother (the smaller man), a North Korean soldier, encounter and embrace each other on the battlefield.
Inside it had these beautiful murals with different scenes and emotions from the war. On the floor were tiles dedicated to the allies. 
And there was this beautiful stained glass feature.

From there we caught a train to Changgyeonggung Palace. This Palace was built in 1484, the fifteenth year of King Seongjong (r. 1469-1494), as a residence for three dowager queens. It was destroyed by fire during the Japanese invasion of 1592 and was restored in 1616 during the eighth year of King Gwanghaegun (r. 1608-1623). Many of the palace buildings were again destroyed by fire again in 1830, the thirtieth year of King Sunjo (r.1800-1834) and then restored in 1834. During the Japanese occupation, the Japanese changed the name of the palace to Changgyeongwon, demoting it from a gung (palace) to a won (park), to diminish the stature and authority of the Korean royal family. They built a public zoo and botanical garden on the premises. From 1983 to 1986, the government removed the zoo and botanical garden and restored the palace to its original state with its original name.

Where Jeff is standing is an elevated walkway only for the royals to walk on.
Big courtyard.
And then you enter into another smaller courtyard and walked you up to the building where the king would sit and conduct his daily affairs.
City backdrop

The throne. He would sit cross legged upon it.
Details and colors.
This picture CRACKS ME UP. I was trying to tell Jeff to get a picture of my bag which says MONTANA across it. And this is what he got instead. Yep.
 
My handsome tour guide.
 
So there were stone shrines like this all over the grounds. I took a picture of the description of what they stood for. Jeff and I thought it was pretty interesting...maybe a little bit gross...but then again everyone does their own little weird things.
 
The colors on the trees were just gorgeous.
We left right when the palace closed and then stopped at this delicious place called Caffe Bene where they served waffles with a scoop of gelato on them. Waffles with a scoop of gelato you say? Why yes, and it was AMAZING. I want to try and make them here.
And then we had another dinner out with more soju and found this hilarious statue that seemed highly inappropriate but really made my night. He must have had too much soju.

 

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