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Joseon palaces come to life

In celebration of spring, palaces are opening their doors wide to those who want to know more about them and the stories they contain.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said Monday that Korean traditional musical concerts will be held at Joseon-period palaces in Seoul through autumn.

At the royal garden and Nakseonjae building in Changdeokggung Palace, stage actors Park Jeong-ja and Jeong Dong-hwan will perform short plays of love stories and other anecdotes from the Joseon era (1392-1910) to traditional tunes played by the National Gugak Center orchestra at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Sundays, May 5 through June 9. 
Music for religious rites is performed at Jongmyo. (Korea Tourism Organization)
Music for religious rites is performed at Jongmyo. (Korea Tourism Organization)

At Hamnyeongjeon building in Deoksugung Palace, children’s dramas will be performed to the accompaniment of fusion gugak, or Korean traditional music, at 7:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays from May 12 through June 2.

On May 4 and May 19 at the Jibokjae of Gyeongbokgung Palace, reenactments of dance and music performances for the royal family will take place at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

At Jongmyo, a royal shrine, music that accompanied religious rites for the royal ancestors will be performed at 10 a.m. on Saturdays from May 11 to June 15. An explanation of the meanings and significance of the music pieces will be provided.

For more information on the palaces’ cultural events, call (02) 580-3275 or visit

The Cultural Heritage Administration is also holding a reenactment of the everyday lives of palace staff inside Changgyeonggung Palace at 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays from April 13 through April 28. Actors dressed as palace servants will be placed at major buildings and show the visitors the life inside the Joseon palace. For more information, visit

By Bae Ji-sook (