Gyeongbokgung (Gyeongbok Palace) is a palace located in northern Seoul, South Korea. It was the main as and largest palace of the Joseon Dynasty and one of the Five Grand Palaces built by the Joseon Dynasty.
The palace was originally constructed in 1394 AD, by Jeong Do-jeon, a Korean architect. It underwent various reconstructions and eventually ended up as a massive 330 building complex. Standing on 410,000 square meters of land, it was a symbol of majesty for the Korean people and the home of the royal family. The front gate of the palace is the famous Gwanghwamun gate, which is currently undergoing an extensive renovation.
In 1911, the Japanese destroyed all but 10 buildings, transforming the site to create the headquarters for the Governor-General of Korea during the Japanese colonial period. There is no photographic record of the site before 1911.
Today the palace is open to the public. The National Folk Museum is located inside it. The National Museum of Korea was there too, until it was relocated to Yongsan-gu in 2005.
Many Koreans still hope to resurrect part of the original palace. Archeological work has brought 330 building foundations to light. However, the exact design, color, height, etc will never truly be determined.
The Blue House
Main article: Cheong Wa Dae
The back garden of the Palace used to contain the main part of the Government House complex constructed during the Japanese era. When the Japanese left the complex was occupied by the American Governors of Korea and by the Presidents of South Korea. The last of the Japanese-constructed buildings were demolished in 1995. Now the (entirely Korean-built) complex is known as the Cheongwadae (Blue House), the residence of the President of South Korea.