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Gyeongbokgung Royal Palace
It was in 1395, three years after the Joseon Dynasty was founded by King Taejo (Yi Seong-gye), when the construction of the main royal Palace was completed after the capital of the newly founded dynasty moved from Gaeseong to Seoul (then known as Hanyang). The Palace was named Gyeongbokgung Palace, the “Palace Greatly Blessed by Heaven.” With Mount Bugaksan to its rear and Mount Namsan in the foreground, the site of Gyeongbokgung Palace was at the heart of Seoul and, indeed, deemed auspicious according to the traditional practice of geomancy. In front of Gwanghwamun Gate, the main entrance to the Palace, ran Yukjo-geori (Street of Six Ministries, today’s Sejongno), home to major government offices. Along the central axis upon which Gwanghwamun Gate stood was the nucleus of the Palace, including the throne hall, council hall and king’s residence.
The government ministry district and main buildings of Gyeongbokgung Palace formed the heart of the capital city of Seoul and represented the sovereignty of the Joseon Dynasty. After all the Palaces in the capital were razed by the Japanese during the Hideyoshi invasions of 1592-’98, Changdeokgung Palace, a secondary Palace, was rebuilt and served as the main Palace. Gyeongbokgung Palace was left derelict for the next 273 years. It was finally reconstructed in 1867 by the order of the Prince Regent. The Palace Prince Regent Heungseon reconstructed was markedly different from the original. Some 500 buildings were built on a site of over 40 hectares and constituted a small city. The architectural principles of ancient China were harmoniously incorporated into both the tradition and the appearance of the Joseon royal court. Gyeongbokgung Palace was largely torn down during the Japanese occupation. ninety three percent of the restored buildings were dismantled, Gwanghwamun Gate was dismantled and relocated to the east, and an enormous building housing the Japanese Government-General was constructed in front of the main sector of the Palace. An effort to fully restore Gyeongbokgung Palace to its former glory has been ongoing since 1990. The Japanese Government-General building was finally removed, and Heungnyemun Gate was restored to its original state. The royal living quarters and the East Palace for the crown prince were also restored to their original state.
(Source: http://www.royalpalace.go.kr/html/eng/main/main.jsp Copyrightⓒ Cultural Heritage Administration)
Surrounded by Gyeongbokgung(Palace), Changdeokgung(Palace) and Jongmyo Royal Shrine, Bukchon is a residential area in Seoul with countless hanoks(traditional Korean houses). Bukchon is also called “the street museum in the urban core,” having many historical spots and cultural heritage sites.
Since it is located in the northern part of Cheonggyecheon and Jongno, people named this area Bukchon, which means northern village. In the village, there are Gahoe-dong, Songhyeon-dong and Samcheong-dong, whose names evoke affection in all Seoulites.
- Geumbagyeon (Gold Leaf Imprint), the name of the studio, is the title used for the solo exhibition of important intangible cultural assets, the gold leaf decoration, Deokhwan Kim, or studio events. The history of Geumbagyeon starts from the first generation, Wanhyeong Kim, during the reign of King Cheoljong of the Joseon Dynasty (1849-1863), and continued to the second generation in Wonsun Kim, (who worked as the imperial gold leaf decorator for the state funeral of the Empress Myeongseong), the third generation, Gyeongyong Kim, (who worked for the last imperial family of the Korean Empire), the fourth generation, Deokhwan Kim, (who is the holder of the important intangible cultural assets, the gold leaf decoration), and the fifth generation, Giho Kim and his wife, (who are currently operating Geumbagyeon Studio as a family business). Visitors to the studio can see each process with full explanations, and with reservations, visitors can see and experience the demonstration of the “stork” decoration.
- This is the workshop of Jung-hyeon Sin, and is the home of Seoul Intangible Cultural Property No. 1, Lacquer. Lacquering means to coat something with the resin of a lacquer tree. Raw lacquering means to use the sap collected from the lacquer tree after eliminating impurities by filtering with ramie fabric and mixing the pine resin oil and filtering again with ramie fabric overlapped with silk cotton. If lacquered, the product becomes stronger, and the color does not change. Lacquer is used a lot in the industrial arts, such as wooden vessels, metal, ceramic ware, leather, and paper. Jung-hyeon Sin is the first man in the field of lacquering. He has studied lacquering for over fifty years.
The 4th IPMA Research Conference will be held in Reykjavik Iceland. Iceland is a country where sustainability is the basic condition for a whole society to exist. Sustainable fishing has been the most important source of income. Sustainable utilization of energy has been a key driver in raising the standard of living in recent years. In Iceland, geothermal water has replaced coal and oil as an energy source for district heating. Finally, sustainable tourism will be a key source of revenue for the years to come and the increasing growth of tourist numbers has even become a concern.
We will offer an optional excursion on Saturday September 17th. Our focus will be on energy. We will depart from Hotel Natura at 09.00 and drive eastwards to Hellisheidi power plant. We will drive through the eastern side of Reykjavik and cross a very active salmon river (Elliðaár) that was harnessed in 1921 and produces 3,2 MW of electric power. We will drive to Hellisheidi power plant, a combined heat and power station that produces 303 MW of electricity and 133 MW of hot water. We will enjoy the Geothermal Energy Exhibition (http://www.onpower.is/exhibition) and learn about different projects that have been concluded and are in the pipelines at ON Power, the owner of the Hellisheidi power plant. We will then drive to Selfoss town and eat a 2-course lunch at a nice restaurant. After lunch, we will drive to Ljosafoss power station, run by the National Power Company of Iceland. The station started operation in 1937 and produces 15,3 MW of power with 3 Francis turbines. We will enjoy the new energy exhibition at Ljosafoss (http://www.landsvirkjun.com/company/visitus/) and learn about the National Power Company of Iceland and some of its past, present and future projects.
We will then continue our tour and drive through Thingvellir, the old parliament of Iceland where Alþingi, the general assembly, was established around 930 and continued to convene there until 1798. We will take a short walk in Thingvellir and learn about its history. We will then head back to Reykjavik and return at Hotel Natura at about 16.30.
Our hosts at the Hellisheidi power plant, and at Ljosafoss power plant, will be former graduates from the MPM program (Master of Project Management) in Iceland. All of them serve high positions in ON Power and the National Power Company of Iceland.
Excursion fee is 125 Euro.