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Explore Korea
Seoul
The Capital of South Korea
Located at the heart of the Korean Peninsula, Seoul has always been an important strategic point throughout the centuries in terms of defense and the economy, from one kingdom to the next. The three kingdoms of Baekje, Goguryeo, and Silla (BCE 57 – CE 688) all fought over the area that is now Korea’s capital. Indeed, whichever kingdom claimed Seoul became the dominant power. The Joseon Dynasty (1392 - 1910) declared Seoul its capital, a role that Seoul still playing .
Gyeongbokgung Palace

Gyeongbokgung Palace was the first and largest of the royal palaces built during the Joseon Dynasty. Built in 1395, Gyeongbokgung Palace was located at the heart of newly appointed capital of Seoul (then known as Hanyang) and represented the sovereignty of the Joseon Dynasty. The largest of the Five Grand Palaces (the others being Gyeonghuigung Palace, Deoksugung Palace, Changgyeonggung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace), Gyeongbokgung served as the main palace of the Joseon Dynasty.
Gwanghwamun Gate

The largest and main gate to Seoul's Gyeongbokgung Palace, Gwanghwamun Gate is home to the changing of the guards ceremony (performed since 1469), which happens daily (except Tuesdays) at 10am and 2pm. The gate has undergone many renovations and rebuilding, most recently in 2010, when it was restored to its original location and reconstructed with native materials.
Dongdaemun Design Plaza

Known by its initials, the DDP is a very cool design center in Seoul's Dongdaemun area. Dongdaemun is also known for its shopping, there are a lot of department stores and discount stores in the area. The silver, orb-like flowing DDP building looks like something from outer space. It was designed by the late, great architect Zaha Hadid.
The complex is filled with showrooms, work spaces, offices, and design studios. There is also what has to be Seoul's coolest shop, selling all kinds of interesting items showcasing contemporary design. The building is also very popular as a photo subject, both during the day and night.
Myeong-dong

Myeong-dong is Seoul’s shopping mecca and is a must-see for tourists, but it is not just a shopping destination; Myeong-dong is also a hub of commerce, banking and culture with a daytime population of 1.5-2 million. For shoppers there is a mixture of street stalls and retail outlets selling everything from high fashion to casual attire, as well as many Korean cosmetics stores offering high-quality products at competitive prices.