Sunday morning I hopped on the metro and headed over to Gyeongbokgung Palace, the biggest of the several Joeson era palaces in Seoul.
It’s a super-popular location for foreign visitors, and for local Koreans, and for good reason: it’s a terrifically well-maintained site despite having been burned to the ground a rebuilt a couple times (the plaques always note when the Japanese were involved in the destruction).
If memory serves, the architectural style is Classical Chinese, and comes from a period when the Korean elites were essentially trying to reconstruct a purer version of Chinese architecture and art than what they found at the time in China.
However, it’s also where my dad says he went ice skating as a kid, so there’s that too.
From there, I walked down Gwanghwamun, stopping in a surprisingly cool underground museum devoted to the lives of King Sejong (who was like a cross between James I and Tony Stark, and is credited with the development of Hangul, a ton of scientific instruments, and a raft of modernization initiatives) and Admiral Yi (of the turtle ships).