Royal Culture Festival to add color to Seoul’s palaces

By Im Eun-byel
  • Published : Apr 18, 2019 - 15:50
  • Updated : Apr 18, 2019 - 15:50

During the 2019 Royal Culture Festival, visitors will be able to get a glimpse of the lifestyles of Joseon royals at Seoul’s five historic palaces.

The Cultural Heritage Administration announced Wednesday it will be hosting the annual festival under the theme of “Today, We Meet the Palace” from April 27 to May 7 at Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung, Changgyeonggung, Deoksugung and Gyeonghuigung.

This is the first time that Gyeonghuigung has been included in the event. Various programs and activities have been prepared under the theme.
Reenactment of the king’s march at Gwanghwamun (Cultural Heritage Administration)

“Royal palaces are part of our lives. The festival is about letting people know that they are the owners of the palaces,” said Jin Ok-sub, the head of the Korea Cultural Heritage Foundation, in charge of preparing for the festival.

According to the foundation, one of the aims this year was to highlight different characteristics of each palace.

The opening ceremony of the festival will be held at 7:30 p.m. on April 26 at the Gyeonghoeru Pavillion -- a venue for state banquets during the Joseon era -- in Gyeongbokgung. 

A music performance at the Gyeonghoeru Pavillion in Gyeongbokgung (Cultural Heritage Administration)

A play about the construction of the pavilion will be staged there from April 28 to May 4. Floating seats will be installed on the pond to allow the audience to watch the performance up close.

Meanwhile, a musical about King Gojong, the last king of Joseon and the founder of the Korean Empire, will be performed from April 27 to 29 at Deoksugung on a stage that is a replica of Korea’s first indoor performance hall, built for the occasion.

For those interested in music, the National Gugak Center will present Joseon court music at Changdeokgung from May 2 to 4.

More programs will take place at the five palaces during the festival, allowing visitors to have immersive experiences. A nighttime music performance will be held at Jongmyo, a royal shrine dedicated to memorial services.

A poster for 2019 Royal Culture Festival (Cultural Heritage Administration)

For more information or reservations, visit the Royal Culture Festival’s website at

By Im Eun-byel (