Geunjeongjeon Hall
(National Treasure No. 223).
Geunjeongjeon Hall, Important state functions were held in the compound of Geunjeongjeon, the Throne Hall, such as court officials' audiences with the king and receptions for foreign envoys.
Geunjeongjeon Hall is the Throne Hall, where the king granted audiences to his officials, presided over large official functions and met foreign envoys. Geunjeongjeon Hall is the largest and most formal hall in gyeongbokgung Palace. The two-tier edifice stands on a high platform reached by stone steps. There is a spacious courtyard in front, where important events were held and corridors enclose it.
The palanquin path toward Geunjeongjeon Hall.
The phoenix and vine patterns engraved on the palanquin path toward Geunjeongjeon Hall
The Throne Hall Compound seen from the eastern corridor.
Geunjeongmun Gate is situated at the center of the southern corridors. On the left of this gate is Ilhwamun Gate and on the right Wolhwamun Gate. Yungmunnu Pavilion is located in the eastern corridor and Yungmuru Pavilion in the west.
Geunjeongmun Gate, the entrance to the Throne Hall enclosure, was where the king and his officials gathered for weekly meetings. The king faced the south sitting on a throne installed in the middle part of Geunjeongjeon Hall Gate and the officials lined up in the Hongnyemun(now Heungnyemun Gate) Gate enclosure to offer their formal greetings. In other words, Geunjeongmun Gate was not simply a gate but the place where political activities began.
Court Officials Offering Congratulations.
One of 10 panels of a wall screen depicting 10 major feasts thrown in the royal court in 1887 on colored silk fabric ; from the collection of the National Museum of Korea. The picture shows a ceremony at Geunjeongjeon Hall to celebrate the 80th birthday for the Dowager Jo, who was given the posthumoustitle of Queen Sinjeong. She was King Gojong's adoptive mother.
A bronze Censer
Whenever the king sat on the throne for official functions, incense sticks were burned in the censers located on the left and right of the hall.
Major events, such as coronations and receiving foreign envoys, were held around Geunjeongjeon Hall. During the functions, court officials found their places according to the rank stones planted on the courtyard. The courtyard is paved with thin, wide and rectangular stones. The surfaces are finished rather roughly, so as to give a less monotonous look and prevent the sun from blinding people standing on the courtyard. In the courtyard, other important functions took place, such as parties for elderly civil servants and qualifying examinations for appointment to civil offices.
The name "Geunjeongjeon Hall," the central building, means "diligence helps governance."
This hall, symbolizing the state and the king, has a two-tierroof and the tops of the pillars are elaborately decorated. There are sculptures of 4 directional guardians and 12 Chinese zodiac animal signs at the corners of the foundation and on the banisters around the stairs. The hall interior is open to the second story and the floor consists of large square blocks with elaborate designs, with the throne placed in the middle of the north side. Behind the throne is a wall screen painted with the sun, moon and a five-peak mountain. A pair of sculpted dragons decorates the ceiling.

This scene is a reenactment of King Sejong's coronation on the 10th of Aug.
by the lunar calendar in 1418. It shows court officials congratulating the king who is on the throne in Geunjeongjeon Hall.
Seven clawed dragons on the ceiling of Geunjeongjeon Hall.
Stones indicating rank at Geunjeongjeon Hall. The marks indicated where the court officials lined up in order of rank during official functions at Geunjeongjeon Hall.
Geunjeongmun Gate seen from the platform of Geunjeongjeon Hall.
A palanquin path is at the center of the flight of steps on the two-tier foundation ; it is decorated with Chinese phoenixes. On the left and right of the path of the foundation are stone parapets, with sculptures of Haetae, the legendary animal of judgment. Arabesque patterns are engraved on the sides of the stone steps. The foundation itself consists of large stone slabs and bronze censers are placed to the left and right of the parapet. Wide-mouth basins, filled with water, are located at the top of the front steps to the east and the west of the hall, a symbolic gesture to ward off the fire spirit descending from heaven with a malicious intention of starting a fire.
Stone sculptures on the foundation of Geunjeongjeon Hall.
A tent ring in the courtyard of Geunjeongjeon Hall. Tents were put up for festivities.
The cast-iron container holding water to ward off evil fire-causing spirits.
The throne inside Geunjeongjeon Hall.
Yungmunnu Pavilion, yungmun meaning that the country is ruled with literary art(mun).
The interior of Geunjeongjeon Hall.
The pavilions, Yungmunnu and Yungmuru, on the east and west of encircling corridors were built over the gateways to and from the Throne Hall Compound. These pavilions were libraries that housed the books for the king, the crown prince and court officials. The syllables in these names, mun and mu, means the country is ruled with scholarship (mun) and disturbances are quelled with military arts(mu). As such, these pavilions carry symbolic names in the manner of Geunjeongjeon Hall and Geunjeongmun Gate, the Throne Hall and its gate.  
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