Known for being the largest metropolis in South Korea, Seoul attracts many tourists from around the world. Despite being known for its shopping districts, fashion events, and lively festivals; Seoul gives its visitors a glimpse into its past while retaining its modernity. Since it has a long history, Seoul is the home of many historic sites that take you into a time period that is not your own that certainly gives its visitors plenty of fun filled memories to surely be remembered. Let's explore five major historic attractions that can be found in Seoul!
- Gyeongbokgung Palace
There are many castles that exist around the world, but the architecture and beauty of a Korean palace is unmatched. Constructed during the Joseon Dynasty, Gyeongbokgung Palace is the largest and most important palace in South Korea, offering its visitors a magnificent display of architecture and design that harmoniously interacts with the nature surrounding it. Furthermore, it was in this palace that the Korean alphabet (Hangul) was created by King Sejong. If you arrive at the right time, you will be able to experience the changing of the guards ceremony, which displays how the guards protected kings throughout this dynasty.
- Bukchon Hanok Village
If you are wondering what a traditional Korean village looked like, you must definitely visit Bukchon Hanok Village! This quaint village is located between Gyeongbokgung Palace and Changdeokgung Palace, and is full of many traditional Korean houses that portray village life in the Joseon Dynasty. You can indulge in the traditional teahouses, galleries, and scenery that the village has to offer. This place is undoubtedly one of a kind so make sure to pay it a visit!
- Suwon Hwaseong Fortress
Known for its historic scenery, the Suwon Hwaseong Fortress will make you feel as if you have taken a journey into the past! This site is known for the fortified wall that was built by King Jeongjo during the Joseon Dynasty. As you walk along the fortress, you will be able to see all of the military weapons and defense tactics that were in place in case of an invasion. Aside from being a military base that was meant to protect the city, it is also a display of the king’s power and vision. Due to all of this, Suwon Hwaseong Fortress is a historical site that will leave you in awe.
- Gwanghwamun Square
Located in front of the Gyeongbokgung Palace, Gwanghwamun Square is a tribute to King Sejong. King Sejong is a highly respected historical figure in Korean history because of his rule, inventions, and creation of the alphabet. For this reason, Gwanghwamun Square features a statue of King Sejong along with some of his inventions that were revolutionary in his day. Considering all of the great things that he accomplished and did throughout his lifetime, one should consider visiting Gwanghwamun Square to admire the tribute made for this esteemed figure.
- Changdeokgung Palace
Displaying vibrant colors that are appealing to the eye, Changdeokgung Palace was built in 1405, and is known as the second largest palace in South Korea. Making this palace stand out from the rest, it has a secret garden that serves as the main attraction for its guests. This garden houses magnificent pavilions and countless exotic plants that are unlike any other, giving one the opportunity to admire the architecture and beauty of nature. For this reason, it is impossible not to feel at peace and harmony with nature as you walk through this area.
So, take a glance into the history of a great nation with rich culture and vibrant stories. Jump into the past dressed in hanbok or explore an ancient village. Enjoy the amazing history of Korea, and share with us your favourite historical places you have visited in the comments below!
Written by Valeria Voelkl