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Saturday, 14 December 2013

Goryeo Royal Palace Site, Ganghwa County, Incheon Metropole: Turbulent Years of Mongolian Invasion of Goryeo (1231-1259)

Goryeo Royal Palace Site (Hanja: 江華高麗宮址) in 42 Bungmun Drive/Bungmun-gil/북문길, Gwancheong-ri 743-1 beonji, Ganghwa-eup, Ganghwa County, Incheon Metropole is the site of the royal palace where the Goryeo people had resisted vigorously against Mongolian invasion for 39 years.

On account of strong recommendation of generals, King Gojong Wang Cheol moved his capital to Ganghwa Island with the advantage of natural and strategical point of view. Ganghwa Island holds historical significance as the place where metal type was developed and where the Palman Daejanggyeong (the Tripitaka Koreana printing woodblocks) were made during the Goryeo dynasty. Upon withdrawal of Mongolian forces, the capital was moved back to Kaesong (present-day DPRK) after the peace treaty with the Mongol concluded in 1270. Ganghwado castle was once conquered by the force of Qing dynasty of China during Byeongja Chinese-Qing Invasion in 1637, during the reign of King Injo of Joseon Dynasty.

In Joseon dynasty, king's court constructed the consolidated palace including many subsidiaries such as Oegyujanggak national library, Haenggung king's family's residence etc. on the very site of previously existed Goryeo palace. These buildings were burnt down by the French navy during Byeongin French Invasion in 1866. Nowadays, there remains only Dongheon Main office and Ibangcheong Administration office. This place and building were restored to its origin and became Korean people's historical remembrance where people are reminded of the historical lessons in terms of resistance and patriotism against foreign aggression.