Tags » Landmarks & History

The Grand Tour II-12: Long Cape... Nagasaki (長崎)

From the Korean Peninsula, we hop on a ship over to the islands of Japan, the Land of the Rising Sun; to the very first treaty port in Japan – and quite likely the oldest colonial port city anywhere in Asia, except for Goa, Malacca and Macao. 1,253 more words

Art & Architecture

The Westin Chosun Hotel, Seoul

The Westin Chosun Hotel is the grande dame of Seoul’s hospitality scene.  It originated as an act of cultural desecration.

In 1913, the Japanese destroyed the Hwangudan Altar – Seoul’s equivalent of the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, where the Emperor would perform the rites of heaven, and built in 1897, during the brief Daehan era.   265 more words

Art & Architecture

Keijo 京城, or Japanese Seoul

In 1910, Imperial Japan annexed Korea forcefully, culminating a process that began with the Meiji Emperor in 1876.  The Joseon capital of Hanseong was renamed 京城 – read as “Kei-jo” in Japanese, and “Gyeongseong” in Korean – and designated the colonial capital.   346 more words

Art & Architecture

Jeong-Dong, Seoul's Former Foreign Legation Quarter

In October 1897, King Gojong – the last King of the Joseon Dynasty – declared independence from Qing China and proclaimed the formation of the Daehan Jeguk, or the Korean Empire from the confines of the Deoksugung Palace. 472 more words

Art & Architecture

The Imperial Palaces and Shrines of the Joseon Emperors, Seoul

We start our tour of Seoul from when it was called Hanseong 漢城, and ruled by the Joseon Dynasty (also transliterated as “Chosun”).

The architectural heritage of the period remains in the form of five imperial palaces within the city limits, and the impressive Royal Shrine of Jongmyo, where (almost) ALL of the Joseon Emperors and their wives are interred. 966 more words

Art & Architecture

The Grand Tour II-11: Capital City... Hanseong / Keijo / Seoul (漢城 / 京城 / 서울)

And so at last we have left China, and made landing on Korean soil.

For 500 years, the Korean Peninsula was a tributary state of Imperial China, first under the Ming Dynasty and then the Qing Dynasty.   975 more words

Art & Architecture

The Yamato Hotel (today's Dalian Hotel 大连宾馆)

The grande dame of Dairen’s hospitality scene was the Yamato Hotel 大和旅館, built in 1914 by the occupying Japanese on Nicholas Square.  It was the equivalent of the Astor House Hotel in Shanghai, and the Raffles Hotel in Singapore, hosting the likes of Royalty and celebrities who passed through Dairen en route to Japan on their round-the-world tours. 405 more words

Art & Architecture