The ‘Palace Greatly Blessed by Heaven’, as its name (Gyeongbokgung) means, has the longest and most storied history of any Korean palace, with a story that starts in 1395, three years after the beginning of Joseon Dynasty rule. Later kings of the Joseon Dynasty continued to expand the palace, but much of it was destroyed during a slave rebellion in 1592. Fast-forward to 1867, when the palace buildings were reconstructed. The new structures, over 330 in all, made up a massive complex with 5,792 rooms, taking up 4,414,000 square feet (410,000 square metres) of land. Today, about 40per cent of Gyeongbokgung’s original buildings exist. The absence of those that are no more have made some room for walking – and the massive crowds. This is the most-visited place in all Korea by foreign tourists, and locals love it as well, even more so since the unveiling of the reconstructed front gate, Gwanghwamun, in 2010. Gyeongbokgung Royal Palace . Open Mar- Oct 9am-6pm Mon, Wed-Sun. Nov-Feb 9am-5pm Mon, Wed-Sun. English-language guided tours 11am, , . Admission ₩3,000. Sejongno 1-1 (3700-3900). Transport: Gyeongbokgung station (line 3), exit 5.