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Top Rated Attractions in Seoul

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Dobongsan

Comprising of peaks crowned by striking rock formations, Mount Dobongsan is a hiker's haven. A part of the Bukhansan National Park, this craggy mountain range shelters a dramatic contrast of gleaming granite and wild greenery. Divided by beauteous valleys, it also cocoons temples like Cheonchuksa and Mangwolsa. One of its most prominent peaks is the Seoninbong, which is sliced with 37 hiking trails alone.

Gyeongbok Palace

Gyeongbok Palace, also known as Gyeongbokgung, was constructed in 1395 by King Taejo. Largest among the Five Grand Palaces built in Seoul around this time, Gyeongbok served as the central palace during the Joseon dynasty, doubling as the official royal residence and seat of the Joseon government. The palace was designed with majestic towers, grand facades, intricate furnishings, a massive royal court, and around 7000 individual rooms. Much of the palace was restored in the 19th Century, and it is still being worked on as part of a campaign to return the site to its former glory. At once visually stunning and culturally significant, Gyeongbok Palace and its onsite museums offer excellent insight into Korean history.

The War Memorial of Korea

The War Memorial of Korea, which opened in 1994, is one of the largest of its kind in the world. It occupies the former army headquarters and honors those who died fighting for their country during the Korean War. The memorial includes both indoor and outdoor exhibition halls that showcase a curated selection of numerous military relics, artillery, ammunition, documents, photographs, and other artefacts from the museum's vast collection pertaining to the nation's war history. Although the museum focuses primarily on the Korean War, it also delves into battles that preceded it to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the subject. The War Memorial of Korea is an evocative memorial to the cost of war as well as a testament to the nation's military prowess.

Haengju Fortress

Located atop Mount Togyangsan, the Haengjusansong Fortress is where General Kwon Yul, with 2300 soldiers, defeated over 30,000 Japanese troops during the Japanese invasion of Korea in 1593. The name of the fortress bears a fascinating historical context; in Korean, the word "Sansong" means "fortress" and "Haengju" means "apron". Victory was achieved with the aid of several women who used their aprons to carry the stones, thus giving the fortress its name. Over the centuries since it inception, the fortress has braved the ravages of battle and time, yet continues to stand strong even today. Shrouded in mystery, this enigmatic fortress harbors quite a few treasures including relics that date back to the Baekje period, as well as a modest shrine named Chungjangsa. Several archaeological investigations have been carried out here as well, revealing historical nuances that might have been lost if not for the shelter of this mighty fortification.

National Museum of Korea

The National Museum of Korea is one of the most prominent museums in the country, featuring fascinating objects that span the periods of Korean prehistory right up to the Korean Empire, which was annexed by Japan in 1910. Across the three-story museum, which contains six permanent galleries, visitors can explore numerous captivating exhibits and peruse the extensive collection of artifacts showcased here. Interactive displays and other immersive mediums enable history buffs to delve deep into the country's culture, customs, and traditions. Additionally, the museum organizes educational activities, gallery talks, and exciting events such as scavenger hunts for all ages. Moreover, there are special exhibition halls, educational facilities, a children's museum, an expansive outdoor exhibition area, restaurants, cafes, shops, and other amenities.

Leeum Samsung Museum of Art

The 27,000 square meter(6.67 acres) Samsung Museum of Art Complex was designed in 1997. It provides support to cultural and artistic activities, thus increasing their life span and raising their historical value. The Institute is involved in the following: conservation of metal and ceramic works, Korean paintings and contemporary and modern art works. Artworks are preserved here through application of the most advanced technology. The experts undertake the material study to establish appropriate environmental conditions and develop better conservation and restoration techniques.

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