Having done almost everything that modern day Seoul can offer, I reasoned it will be great to reserve the entire day to explore the grand re-constructed remains of the Joseon Empire and understand the culture and way of life of Koreans during the time of the old kingdom.
The Joseon Empire founded Taejo Yi Seong-gye after the overthrow of the Goryeo reign and ruled for approximately five centuries. Korea was retitled to it’s present day name and it’s capital was relocated to modern-day Seoul.
Joseon was the last royal dynasty of Korean history. At it’s prime, the empire consolidated absolute rule over Korea, paved the way for Confucian ideals and doctrines and expeienced the peak of classical Korean culture, literature, trade, science and technology.
However, the foundation of the empire was badly weakened during the late 16th and early 17th centuries by invasions by the neighboring Japan and Qing Empire. Joseon was forced to adopt an increasingly harsh isolationist policy for which the country was later known as the Hermit Kingdom. After invasions from Manchuria, Joseon experienced a nearly 200-year period of peace.
Before the empire can recover fully from previous invasions, internal strife, power struggles, international pressure and rebellions within it’s internal during the end of the 18th century resulted in further decline of the Joseon Dynasty in the late 19th century.
From 1897 to 1910 following Japanese victory in the first Sino-Japanese War, Joseon was forced to write a document of independence from the Qing Empire and be no longer seen as a tributary state.
The Joseon Dynasty came to an end in 1910, when the Japan-Korea Annexation Treaty was enforced by the Empire of Japan.
Korea had a rather tragic history as a result of the aggression and oppression from its 2 empire neighbours China & Japan. It created the strong, enduring and resilient character of the Koreans who are always ready to defend their way of life, continuously rebuild whatever that were destroyed and preserve it’s hertiage for future generations to come.
My target for the way was to visit Gyeongbok Palace & Jongmyo Shrine but fate included Changdeok & Changgyeong Palaces.
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