Before introducing you to the most famous historical places to visit in Seoul. I would like to quickly sum up the main periods of Korean history. Korea has been through a long history. Korea had three kingdom periods. The three kingdoms of ancient Korea (57 BCE – 668 CE) is so-called because it was dominated by the three kingdom of Baekjae, Gorguryeo, and Silla. There was also, though, a fourth entity, the Gaya confederation at the southern tip of the Korean peninsula.
Gyeongbokgung Palace was the first and largest of the royal palaces built during the Joseon Dynasty. Built in 1395, Gyeongbokgung Palace was located at the heart of newly appointed capital of Seoul. This palace represented the sovereignty of the Joseon Dynasty. King Sejong (1418 – 1450) created the Korean alphabet, called Hangul, in this palace. This king is often referred as the most respected figure in Korean history.
The palace is divided into different sections: the government official areas and the royal private areas. I have visited Gyeongbokgung Palace on many occasions and in different seasons. My favorite was a visit in fall (the end of October). The palace with the beautiful fall colors was so beautiful to see.
Bukchon Hanok Village
Bukchon Hanok Village is a Korean traditional village in Seoul with a long history. This place is located on the top of a hill between Gyeongbok Palace, Changdeok Palace and Jongmyo Royal Shrine. The traditional village is composed of many alleys, hanok. And it is preserved to show a 600-year-old urban environment. I have been to Bukchon Hanok Village 3 times and each time I go, I just fall in love with Korean architectures.
Jongmyo is a Confucian shrine dedicated to the perpetuation of memorial services for the deceased kings and queens of the Korean Joseon Dynasty. According to UNESCO, the shrine is the oldest royal Confucian shrine preserved. And the ritual ceremonies continue a tradition established in the 14th century. During the Joseon dynasty, the kings traveled to Jongmyo shrine to participate in the royal procession and making lavish (food and drinks) in honor of their ancestors.