The Cultural Heritage Administration opens up Changgyeonggung and Gyeongbokgung palaces for special night viewing for a few nights in April and October. If you enjoy nighttime photography, it’s an opportunity not to be missed. Changgyeonggung will be open at night on April 20—22 and April 24—26.
Yes, I came here last spring, too. No rule against visiting a place several times. This time I finally got a chance to meet Justin Howard and Romain John, who I’ve been following on Flickr and 500px, and see once again Kim Sungjin, who’ve met several times before through SEOUL magazine.
Now, you could shoot this from the open terrace at SNU Medical Center Cancer Center, as I did in the last two shots here. These shots were taken from another high vantage point. Slightly better than last year’s shots, but not much.
Sure, the Myeongjeongjeon Hall might not compare in size with the main throne halls of Gyeongbokgung or Changdeokgung—heck, it wasn’t even a throne hall—but built in 1616, it’s the oldest main hall of any of Seoul’s Joseon Dynasty palaces. Although it wasn’t open that night, the cloister in back of the hall is lovely piece of architecture.
This is the rear garden area of the palace, namely, the area surrounding Chundangji Pond and the old glasshouse. I have to say, the use of the multicolored lights was a nice touch.
Lots of people out there Friday night. It was a lovely night to be out, too—there was a cool spring breeze, the air infused with the scent of spring blossoms.
The cloisters in front of Myeongjeongjeon Hall were from 1616, too. And quite well executed, too.
Built in 1633, Haminjeong Pavilion sits in the rear garden of the palace. During the reign of King Yeongjo, the great Confucian monarch would receive the top scorers on the state civil and military service exams here.
There are some lovely trees back here, too, including ancient junipers, cypress trees and beautiful red pines.
Here’s a spring flower reading her iPhone in front of a couple of old halls.
When my wife saw Chundangji Pond lit up, she said, “Finally, there’s a sight worth photographing.” More a reflection on getting dragged on a photo outing than the pond, which is admittedly quite lovely, especially when illuminated in red and green.
I break for Victorian glasshouses.
Built in 1907, the Changgyeonggung’s unique glasshouse was designed by Hayato Fukuba, who headed the Shinjuku Imperial Garden in Tokyo, and constructed by a French company. When I visited at night last spring, it was closed, but this time around it was lit up and open, cutting a dramatic image against the night sky.