Panoramic view of Namhansanseong Emergency Palace

Namhansanseong World Heritage Center

Namhansanseong World Heritage Center

Haenggung, or “palace of temporary stay”, is a Korean word referring to a royal palace built at a strategic location outside the capital and used by Joseon rulers as a temporary residence in times of emergency, as a holiday residence, or simply as a place to stay when they visited a tomb of their ancestor(s).1 More than ten such palaces existed during the Joseon Period (1392-1910), including those in Suwon, Ganghwa, Jeonju, Uiju, Yangju and Onyang. Of these, the palace at Namhansanseong was built in 1625, when the latter was comprehensively renovated for use as a temporary shelter for Joseon kings in times of war until the arrival of reinforcements from regional areas. 2 When the Manchus invaded Joseon ten years later, King Injo (r. 1623-1649) took shelter at the temporary royal palace at Namhansanseong and fought against the northern invaders for forty-seven days, from December 14, 1636 to January 30, 1637. In subsequent periods, the fortified palace continued to serve as temporary accommodation for his successors, including Kings Sukjong, Yeongjo, Jeongjo, Cheoljong and Gojong, whenever they visited Yeongneung, the tomb of King Hyojong. Namhansanseong Emergency Palace is the only royal palace located outside the capital to contain Jwajeon, literally hall on the left (or a Royal Ancestral Shrine) and an Usil, literally room on the right (Altar for deities of earth and grain), suggesting that it was not intended for use as an ordinary royal residence but rather as the hub of a temporary capital in times of crisis.

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  • Title: Panoramic view of Namhansanseong Emergency Palace