Ganghwabu Gungjeondo

National Library of Korea

What’s Ganghwabu Gungjeondo?
Ganghwabu Gungjeondo refers to “the painting of a palace at Ganghwabu” and consists of four parts, each of which is folded four times. The first part is called Haenggung-do (the painting of Haenggung), the second part Oegyujanggak-do (the painting of Oegyujanggak), the third part Jangnyeongjeon-do (the painting of Jangnyeongjeon), and the fourth part Bongseonjeon-do (the painting of Bongseonjeon) and Manryeongjeon-do (the painting of Manryeongjeon), which are estimated to have been produced around 1881. 
Based on their great cultural value, the National Library of Korea designated the painting as a valuable material and placed it under special management. To preserve the original painting, photographic prints were made using the same colors as the original version to be provided for user service. 
Why a Palace was Built at Ganghwabu 1
In the West Sea near Ganghwado Island, the difference in sea level between high and low tide reaches almost nine meters. Therefore, the seawater at the narrows between Ganghwado Island and Gimpo-gun, and between Ganghwado Island and Kaepung-gun in North Korea flows fast and roughly toward the inland areas of the Hangang River and the Imjingang River during the flood tide. Reversely, during the ebb tide, the seawater travels towards the West Sea, with the direction changing every six hours. In addition, vast tidal mudflats surface around Ganghwado Island at low tide, creating muddy ground that cannot be traversed on foot easily. Such natural blessings deterred large armies from crossing the narrows on ships to land on Ganghwado Island, making the island the first line of defense in a longstanding war against a host of foreign invaders from the continent. When the Mongols who established a great empire across Eurasia first invaded Goryeo in 123, Goryeo moved its capital from Gaeseong to Ganghwado Island in the following year to begin the protracted war of resistance. Even though the Mongols invaded Goryeo in full force on six more occasions from the second invasion to the seventh invasion, Ganghwado Island did not fall to the Mongols. Following Imjin Waeran (1592-1598), an international war involving the Joseon Dynasty, the Ming Dynasty and Japan, the Jurchens had grown in power rapidly and established a state titled Later Jin in 1616.
The Joseon Dynasty reorganized military facilities in Ganghwado Island as a strongpoint to prepare for the long-lasting war against full-scale invasion by the Jurchens. During Jeongmyo Horan (the Later Jin invasion of Joseon) in 1627, 30,000 Jurchen troops invaded Joseon, and King Injo retreated to Ganghwado Island and commanded his army in the prolonged battle. Upon the breakout of Byeongja Horan (the Qing invasion of Joseon) in 1636 when the Qing Dynasty, the latter-day name for Later Jin, invaded Joseon with a military strength of 120,000, King Injo intended to escape to Ganghwado Island as in the previous war. However, Qing Dynasty troops reached the vicinity of Seoul too quickly, and King Injo was forced to take refuge at Namhansanseong Fortress to command the extended war. Although Ganghwado Island was occupied by the army of the Qing Dynasty during Byeongja Horan, King Hyojong (r. 1649-1659) later conducted a major overhaul of military facilities in the natural stronghold of Ganghwado Island in preparation for an all-out war against the Qing Dynasty. Subsequently, Ganghwado Island became known as Joseon’s foremost fortress, where the king would take refuge to command the resistance against the Qing Dynasty in the event of another invasion. For this reason, various facilities were built in Ganghwado Island, such as a temporary palace for the king to reside, palaces to temporarily commemorate past kings, and a library for storing books that require permanent preservation.
Haenggung
Haenggung refers to a temporary palace where the king would take refuge during a war, or stay during visits to royal tombs or hot springs to treat skin disease away from Seoul. Haenggung of Ganghwabu remains unrestored since 1866 when it was burned down by the French army. It served as a temporary palace where the king commanded the army during the long-running war following an invasion by the Qing Dynasty. Other Haenggung for refuge were built at Namhansanseong Fortress and Bukhansanseong Fortress. Haenggung for temporary residence during visits to royal tombs or hot springs were built at Hwaseong Haenggung Palace in Suwon, Gyeonggi-do and Onyang Haenggung Palace in Onyang, Chungcheong-do.

Haenggung

Haenggung

Oegyujanggak
Oegyujanggak refers to “Kyujanggak outside Seoul” and was an affiliated library of Kyujanggak, the national royal library located in Changdeokgung Palace. The library was established in 1782 in order to preserve important books related to the royal family in the event of a massive invasion by the Qing Dynasty, and preserved up to 5,067 books from 1,009 titles. In 1866, French troops invaded and burned down Oegyujanggak, which was eventually restored in 2003. The 297 books that the French pillaged without burning were returned to Korea in 2011.

Oegyujanggak

Oegyujanggak

Jangnyeongjeon
This royal portrait hall was built to house the portrait of King Sukjong (r. 1674-1720), the 19th King of the Joseon Dynasty. In 1776, the portrait of King Yeongjo (r. 1724-1776), the 21st King of the Joseon Dynasty, was also relocated here from Manryeongjeon. This palace remains unrestored since 1866 when it was burned down by the French army.

Jangnyeongjeon

Jangnyeongjeon

Bongseonjeon and Manryeongjeon
These palaces are royal portrait halls, and Bongseonjeon was built to house the portrait of King Sejo (r. 1455-1468), the 7th King of the Joseon Dynasty, Manryeongjeon, the portrait of King Yeongjo (r. 1724-1776), the 21st King of the Joseon Dynasty. After King Yeongjo’s portrait was relocated to Jangnyeongjeon in 1776 in accordance with his will, Manryeongjeon was left as an empty palace. These palaces remain unrestored since 1866 when they were burned down by the French army.

Bongseonjeon and Manryeongjeon

Bongseonjeon and Manryeongjeon

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