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|Deoksugung Palace has held a guard-changing ceremony since 1996 after thorough historical research by leading historians. The ceremony, which is held in front of the Daehanmun Gate of Deoksugung Palace, is a tradition similar to the Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace and offers a rare opportunity to experience royal culture. The royal gate is opened and closed at pre-determined times, and the gatekeepers in charge of guard duty and patrols hold a shift ceremony three times a day.
Special Programs: The Royal Guard-Changing Ceremony is a highly recommended event for tourists. It is held three times a day (11:00 / 14:00 / 15:30) in front of Daehanmun Gate at Deoksugung Palace. As each ceremony follows the same procedure and lasts for thirty minutes, visitors can choose whichever time is most convenient. The ceremony is free of charge. There are no ceremonies on Mondays as well as on severely cold or hot days.
As the ceremony begins, the changing of the guards commences replete with traditional musical instruments, and exchanges a password for verification. An eight-minute guard ceremony ensues, followed by a seven-minute change ceremony, and finally a patrol that completes the ceremony. The procedure takes a dramatic turn when 18 guards in six official positions beat a drum and bellow some orders.
Major Highlights: The Royal Guard-Changing Ceremony is a great opportunity to experience a rare traditional scene. Be sure to bring a camera. The guards’ splendid costumes, with their brilliant primary colors, are a pleasure to view. While you cannot take pictures with the guards during the changing of guards, you can take a background picture of the guards and palace. You can also take photographs with the gatekeepers after the ceremony is over. Visit the palace and enjoy the beauty of Korean palaces following the ceremony.
/ 14:00-14:30 / 15:30-16:00 (except Mondays)
The program is subject to change and may be canceled due to weather conditions.
City Hall Station (Seoul Subway Line 1, 2), Exit 2.
- Go straight 100m to arrive at Daehanmun Gate on the right.
(Korean, English, Chinese, Japanese)