Thursday, February 3, 2011

Gyeonggijeon - Gatekeeper of Jeonju Hanok Village

The first thing that catches your attention when you arrive in Jeonju Hanok Village is the Gyeonggijeon. It is the gate that guards the village where royal families lived. Gyeonggijeon was built in the tenth year of King Taejeong (in 1410) as a place to enshrine the portrait of King Taejo, (born as Seonggae Lee), who is the founder of the Joseon Dynasty. 'Jeon' means palace and Gyeonggijeon is the only palace-like structure that is built south of the Han River in Korea. 

Before entering Gyeonggijeon, pay attention to the two lions that are guarding the village. They are called Hanabi. Carved on this stone is the notice in Chinese, which translates as "All who enter Gyeonggijeon, regardless of class and rank, high or low, must dismount from their horses. Outsiders are prohibited from entering." From this spot, Gyeonggijeon is guarded by a duo of stone lions, who are considered the mightest of predatory beasts. One of the lions is male and another is female, reflecting the harmony of yin and yang.

Then we visited a museum with oriental medicine. You could check on a computer whether your health state is good or , if not what measures you can take. I personally think oriental medicine can work wonders.

We visited variety of beautiful places, such as the bamboo forest and I have already written about the Jeondong cathedral here. You can slightly see it in the background of Hanok village on the third picture below.

That was our wonderful trip to magical traditional village in Jeonju. Believe it or not, I am not done yet. I have to write about the Korean traditional paper factory and also Korean traditional performance called Panseori. Keep tuned on :)

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