South Korea

Changing of Royal Guards at Doeksugung Palace

The Changing of Guards Ceremony is done 3 times a day (11AM, 2PM and 3:30PM) in front of Daehanmun Gate at Deoksugung Palace. Each ceremony lasts for 30 minutes and follows exactly the same procedure. The ceremony is a tradition similar to the Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace and offers a rare opportunity to experience royal culture.

There are no ceremonies every Mondays, and severely cold and hot days. The ceremony is open to the public and there are no fees collected to watch this.

The ceremony begins with a traditional Korean music. The ceremony basically is divided into three. The first is the 8-minute guard ceremony the followed by a 7-minute change ceremony then lastly a patrol that completes it. The procedure becomes more dramatic when 18 guards in six official positions beat a drum and announce some orders. Of course, every word they utter is in Korean language.

The ceremony is also a feast of costumes. They use colorful robe during the ceremony. Picture taking with the guards is allowed after the presentation.

To get here, take the subway and get off at City Hall Station (Line 1 and 2) and take Exit 2 and go straight to Daehanmun Gate on the right.

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