Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sites : Donggung Palace Gyeongju (동궁과 월지)

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Donggung Palace Gyeongju (동궁과 월지)

Gyeongju, South Korea - June 2016
(An UNESCO Heritage Site)
The Donggung Palace in Gyeongju is a great example of the Silla architecture. The ancient Silla empire lasted from 57 BC to 935 AD. The palace is a secondary palace used by the Crown Prince; the main palace was the Wolseong Palace located on a hill not far away.
During that period Gyeongju was the capital of the empire. In the centuries after, during wars and invasion by the Mongols and Japanese both these palaces were destroyed. It was only in the early 20th Century when archaeological excavations were carried out were the ruins of these palaces discovered.

This satellite view shows the extent of the palace which surrounds the Anapji Pond (Wolji Pond). All in twenty six building and corridor structures were discovered. Five of the buildings are to the west of the ponds, of which three have been reconstructed. The three (the  roofed structures seen in the above satellite photo) were reconstructed using available material and data of Silla architecture, these are designated Building No.1 to Building No. 3. The remaining twenty-three we buried and base portions of these 23 buildings were newly made on the buried site (these appear as the dark grey patches in the photo). In the process 287 low plinths were laid out for the major buildings only, these plinths were made of granite simulating the original Silla ones.

Although the palace site is opened during the day and night, the best time to go is just before dusk (that's about 7:00pm during summer). Then one can view the buildings (which will then be lit with spotlights) against the kaleidoscope of a changing sky from bright to dark blue to black.





102 Wonhwa-ro, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea.
Phone:+82 54-772-4041
Hours: 9:00am to 10:00pm
Entrance fee: Adults - 2,000KRW, Teenagers (13-18yrs) - 1.200KRW, Children (7-12yrs) - 600KRW. Discount available for groups of 30 or more people.
(Best time to view is at dusk around 7:00pm onwards during summer, earlier in winter)
GPS: 35.833317, 129.226650
(Click here for Google Street View)

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