Our first stop for the day was Gyeongbokgung Palace which is located in the heart of the city.
Quick history lesson: the palace was first built in 1934 by the Jeseon Dynasty but was burnt down and rebuilt a number of times throughout history. After being reconstructed in 1867, the palace is said to have had 330 buildings and 5,792 rooms. However, from 1911, the Japanese government destroyed all but 10 of the buildings, including the surrounding wall. In 1989 the Korean government decided to embark on a 40 year project to restore the buildings left. As of 2009, 40% of the original palace has been restored.
We had planned this trip to Seoul weeks before for the main purpose of going to see a Hillsong Concert. They are a band that we have been fans of for years since our church back home uses a lot of their songs. They are located in Australia so we were excited to hear that they were on tour and one of the stops was going to be Seoul. It was held in one of the old Olympic pavilions that was used for bike racing during the 1988 Olympics. While Korea has a large christian base, we sometimes feel alone in this regard in the city that we live. That is why going to this concert with 10,000 other believers in Korea was so amazing and uplifting.