National Palace Museum of Korea

For my last article of this semester, I am going to write about my little tour to a Korean museum. I went to the National Palace Museum of Korea ( 국립고궁박물관 ), in front of the Gyeongbokgung Palace (경복궁).

Online, we can read that : “ The National Palace Museum of Korea opened in 1992 displaying relics from the Joseon Dynasty (조선왕조) [1392~1910]. Over 20,000 royal relics from Gyeongbokgung Palace (경복궁), Changdeokgung Palace (창덕궁), Changgyeonggung Palace (창경궁) and Jongmyo Shrine (종묘) are on display. “

The National Palace Museum is located at: 12, Hyoja-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 종로구 효자로 12 (세종로)). Easily found by Google Map or Naver.

The operating hours goes like this : Weekdays 09:00 to 18:00, Weekends & public holidays 09:00 to 19:00 . The last admission is 1 hour before closing and the museum is closed Mondays. It has been rated 4.0 of 5 stars on TripAdvisor traveler, based on 98 traveler reviews.

The directions to get there by Subway is quite easy too :  Gyeongbokgung Palace Station ( Seoul Subway Line 3 ), Exit 5, or Gwanghwamun Station (광화문역) ( Seoul Subway Line 5 ), Exit 2. If you take the Bus, get off the bus at any stop near Gwanghwamun Gate, Sejong-no area.

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The facilities in the museum are :

– Automatic audio guides in Korean, English, Japanese, and Chinese are available at the information desk for 1000 won (ID required).

– Interpretation services in English, Japanese, and Chinese are available at the information desk.

– Refundable coin lockers are located behind the information desk.

– Strollers and wheelchairs are available free of charge at the information desk on the second floor.

– Emergency room is located next to the “Royal State Rites” gallery on the 1st floor.

– Water fountain is located next to the “Joseon Science I” gallery on the 1st floor.

– Café is located next to the entrance on the 1st floor.

– Museum shop is located next to the entrance on the 1st floor. Also it offers a multitude of cultural souvenirs and catalogs for purchase.

– Break area is located on the basement floor.

– Parking is available in the east side parking lot at Gyeongbokgung Palace ( 경복궁 ).

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In the museum, there are 3 different floor you can explore. The B1F floor is the Royal Court paintings and “ features marvelous paintings, ritual instruments and royal palanquins. It also allows us to see the pinnacle of Joseon scientific skill, the self-striking water clock . ” The 1F floor ( first floor ) is the state Rites of the Joseon Dynasty and consists of the galleries : “ State Rites, The Korean Empire and Joseon Science 1, which show the magnificent history of Joseon scientific knowledge and time-honored traditions of the Joseon Dynasty . ” The 2F floor is the Royal court life and “ features the artifacts that relate the history and records of the Joseon Dynasty. It also displays household goods from the court of the Joseon Dynasty that show the private lives of the Royal Family . ”

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Finally, what I appreciate the most was the first floor. The reason is that you can find the Royal Vehicle of Emperor Sun Jong (순종) (The second emperor), and it is quite amazing. I learned that the “vehicle was a Cadillac limousine manufactured by General Motors. The vehicle demonstrates well the features of the early automobile, of which there are now only remaining worldwide.” Lovers of cars, this is your museum!

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Article by Malek from Canada

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