Changdeokgung and Beewon

Yesterday my family and I visited Changdeok Palace in Seoul.  We took my in-laws, who are in town visiting for a month, because we had not yet visited one of Seoul’s main tourist attractions.  It’s hard to believe that it took us almost two years to visit the palace, but I’m glad we did.  The day was cool but not too cold, and the pathways were muddy, but we had fun on Christmas Eve day venturing to see one of Korea’s main palaces.
Changdeokgung, or the East Palace, was built between 1405 and 1412 during the reign of King Taejong of the Joseon Dynasty.  Located just to the east of Gyeongbok Palace, former home of the late Joseon monarchs, Changdeokgung served as the main palace of the Joseon Dynasty until 1872, when the seat of government moved to Gyeongbok Palace.  Changdeokgung has been damaged and destroyed several times by the Japanese, French, Chinese, and Americans, although Changdeokgung’s literature only notes that it was destroyed in 1592 by the Japanese.  The palace is perhaps most famous for "Beewon," or "Secret Garden," a sanctuary for the Korean king/emperor that included a library, fish pond, and fishing house where the king/emperor could catch fish from the fish pond.  In 1997, the palace became a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site.
For the shutterbugs:  I posted two new photo albums tonight.  One features photos from the Christmas season, including photos taken during our first snowfall, a Christmas concert, our son’s school’s Christmas production, and Christmas at home.  The second features photos from yesterday’s trip to Changdeok Palace.  Enjoy!
Blog Notes:  It completely slipped my mind that this blog is two years old!  On December 6, 2004, I started World Adventurers after MSN announced that it was offering a free blogging forum.  Happy birthday, World Adventurers.  217,000 hits later, it’s still going strong, although the author hasn’t had much time to write lately.  I’m hoping to use the holiday to make up for lost time.  Thanks for stopping by as faithfully as ever, Dear Reader.
"Girl in the Rain," November’s featured blogger, has cursed me by forcing me to join a game of "meme."  Because it would violate the unwritten meme code of ethics, I apparently can’t add any tags back to her blog, so you’ll have to hunt and peck in the archives for the link (hint: Visit the sparse November archives).  OK, Girl in the Rain!  I’ll give you a hard time at work tomorrow for clogging up the blogosphere and will take up the challenge you have lain at my virtual feet like a cyber-gauntlet: 
Name “Five Things You Don’t Know About Me,” and then tag five others. 
OK, I’m game.  Let me think about it, and I’ll write about this in the next couple of days.  The five tagged people will come from a list of people I’ve featured in the past.  Or, if you prefer, I can tag you, Dear Reader, if you volunteer.  That would be much better then spamming five of my good friends!

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