Deoksugang Temple

Right smack in the center of downtown Seoul (sort of misnomer since a city of 12 million has about 8 places that could effectively be called "downtown) rests Deoksugang Temple.  This is one of Korea's "Five Grand Palaces" built by the Joseon dynasty.  It became a royal palace in the late 16th century and became home to the 26th king of the Joseon Dynasty/First Emperor of Korea, Emperor Gojong in 1897.  Like many of the historical artifacts in Korea it was heavily reduced in size during the colonial period.  Today only about a third of the original is left.  So it's a really old site, with some buildings that have been built and re-built.  There are even some western style buildings on the grounds, now housing an art museum.  Sara and I spent about an hour here, wandering around and taking pictures.  I've been sort of feverish towards the rapid exit of fall, I don't have any good pictures of the leaves, which are truly beautiful.  Well, that fever was extinguished at this temple as the leaves were some of the most beautiful we've seen.  It's like the area had been specially curated for the best trees on the peninsula.  There were a lot of people and a ton of extremely expensive cameras.  I was shooting with the lens Sara got me for my birthday, which is massive and looks professional, so I fit in with the douchiest looking photogs.  As always, here's 10 pictures and some foolish comments, with a part 2 to follow tomorrow.


I find that when I take pictures in Korea I always have people in them.  So I try to find people doing something interesting.  This person is looking at her phone, probably playing AniPang.  But the juxtaposition between this giant beautiful palace Deoksugang and this person who could give a shit caught my eye.

Old and New

It's hard to see, but at the far part of this picture is a massive jumbotron that plays commercials over the city.  I find the clash of old and new really interesting at this temple.  


When the wind blew there would be a thousand pictures taken as all those standing around fired whatever device they had to capture the leaves falling.  Phones, tablets, DSLR's, everything.  It was crazy. 

Trees on Fire

Here's another one where I just wasn't going to get a picture of the tree by itself, so enter these two fine folks, probably playing AniPang.

The Colors

Red and Orange

We stood under this tree for a good ten minutes marveling at the colors.  The sun was setting and cutting right through the leaves, making the tree look like it was on fire.

The Dragon's Head

The Pond


Deoksugang Temple

This girl is just going to be in all my pictures, but whatever.


  1. 안녕하세요!
    I'm Korean!
    I love this photo^^
    Thank you for taking good pictures!

  2. Thank you! I love taking pictures in Korea.

  3. I think it's Deoksugung (like the other palaces all end in gung). And not a temple. Gorgeous photos!