Deoksu Palace opens off-limits areas for limited time this spring
Deoksu Palace decided to open some of its off-limit zones until April 3 to allow visitors to enjoy different corners of the palace while spring flowers are in full bloom.
Visitors will be able to enter inside halls such as Seokeodang, Jeukjodang and Hamnyeongjeon, to which is usually prohibited. Visitors must sign up to do so in advance, however, as the visits are allowed in groups of 10 people, only twice a day on a guided tour. The first tour begins at 10 a.m. and the second at 3:30 p.m.
The tours last for about 85 minutes, making stops at five different areas of the palace. The first stop is Junghwajeon, the main hall of Deoksu Palace where various official ceremonies were held. The visitors then are taken to Junmyeongdang, which was used as King Gojong’s bedroom before Hamnyeongjeon was built. Hamnyeongjeon, King Gojong’s bedroom, and Jeukjodang, a hall connected to Junmyeongdang with corridors, are also included in the tour.
The highlight, and the main purpose of organizing the tour, according to the palace, is to allow visitors to enter the second floor of Seokeodang, which is the only mid-rise wooden building in the palace. It is assumed that King Seonjo stayed here after escaping to Uiju and returning during the Japanese invasion in 1592 and passed away in 1608.
“Here, visitors can see the beautiful apricot blossoms from the window,” said an official from the palace. “The flowers only stay for about a week.”
The tour was held every year in the spring at Deoksu Palace since 2016, but it was put on hold for the past three years amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Reservations can be made via Deoksu Palace’s website deoksugung.go.kr. Currently, all tours are fully booked, but the Cultural Heritage Administration said available spots frequently pop up due to people contracting Covid-19.
BY YIM SEUNG-HYE [email@example.com]