OWL Magazine Korea

Gyeonghoeru Pavilion in Gyeongbokgung Palace

Gyeonghoeru Pavilion, located within Gyeongbokgung Palace, is designated as South Korea’s Treasure No. 224. It is a pavilion located to the west of Gyeongjeon Hall in Gyeongbokgung Palace, where the king hosted banquets with his officials, received foreign envoys, and held state events such as the rain praying ceremony during droughts.

The structure consists of a stone terrace in a pond, a 7×5 bay wooden pavilion with two stories, and an octagonal pavilion roof, forming a two-winged layout. It follows the architectural style where “wings,” resembling wings under the upper part of the columns, support the roof beams. (Requoted from “Hwaseong Seongyeok Ui Gye” (Record of Hwaseong Fortress Construction, 1796) and “Korean Architectural Styles” by Jeong In-guk, Ilji Sa, 1974, sourced from the Korean Encyclopedia of Ethnic Culture.)

As a standalone building, it is the largest existing traditional wooden structure in South Korea.

“The History of Gyeonghoeru Pavilion”

In the fourth year of King Taejo’s reign (1395), during the construction of Gyeongbokgung Palace, a pavilion was built by digging a pond. However, due to the unstable ground, the building tilted. In the twelfth year of King Taejong’s reign (1412), a large-scale pond construction project was ordered to create a rectangular pond measuring 128 meters from east to west and 113 meters from north to south. The renowned architect Park Ja-cheong was tasked with the construction, completing Gyeonghoeru Pavilion in just eight months. The original Gyeonghoeru Pavilion was smaller in size compared to the current one but more luxurious. It featured a three-story, double-roofed front porch.

In the fifth year of King Sejong’s reign (1474), Gyeongbokgung Palace underwent extensive renovations in March and August. During this period, Gyeonghoeru Pavilion was dismantled and reconstructed, with ornate carvings of flowers and dragons on the stone columns.

“Restoring Gyeonghoeru Pavilion Lost in the Imjin War”

In the twenty-fifth year of King Seonjo’s reign (1592), the entire Gyeongbokgung Palace was destroyed during the Imjin War. Approximately 300 years later, in the fourth year of King Gojong’s reign (1867), when Gyeongbokgung Palace was reconstructed under the name of Prince Heungseon Daewongun, Gyeonghoeru Pavilion was rebuilt. This time, the pavilion had a single-tiered roof, and the dragon-shaped stone columns supporting the pavilion underwent changes, becoming plain. The size also increased.

“A Must-Visit Spot for Photographing Gyeonghoeru Pavilion”

Gyeonghoeru Pavilion is considered the first must-visit spot in Gyeongbokgung Palace. It is particularly renowned as a photography spot for capturing reflections in the surrounding pond.

Throughout all seasons, it exudes a special charm, with spring and autumn being particularly popular times to visit.

“Special Viewing of Gyeonghoeru Pavilion”

While no special reservation is needed to view Gyeonghoeru Pavilion from a distance, entering the pavilion itself requires a reservation. Typically, it is recommended to make an advance online reservation, allowing a maximum of 20 people (15 Koreans, 5 foreigners) for one viewing. It operates three times a day (10:00 AM, 2:00 PM, 4:00 PM), with each session lasting 40 minutes and admission being free.

Reservations can be made online on the Gyeongbokgung Palace website. Pre-booking is available from 7 days before the desired visit date up to one day prior, and same-day registrations are not accepted. Each person can make a maximum of two reservations.

Gyeonghoeru Pavilion can be found within Gyeongbokgung Palace, and it is one of the most well-known and popular spots within the palace grounds. For more information about. Gyeongbokgung Palace, you can refer. to the link below: