This blog may contain not-so-strong languages and slightly strong ecchi pictures. Please proceed with caution.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Inside Gyeongbokgung, Part II: Jibokjae Royal Private Library

Jibokjae (Hangul/Hanja: 집옥재/集玉齋), located next to Geoncheonggung Residence, is a two-story private library used by Emperor Gojong-Gwangmu. In 1876, a major fire occurred in Gyeongbok Palace, and Emperor Gojong, for a brief period, moved and resided in Changdeok Palace. He eventually moved back to Gyeongbok Palace in 1888, but he had the pre-existing Jibokjae building disassembled and moved from Changdeokgung to the present location in 1891. Its name, Jibokjae, translates loosely in English as the "Hall of Collecting Jade."

The building uniquely shows heavy influence of Chinese architecture instead of traditional Korean palace architecture. Its side walls were entirely constructed in brick, a method commonly employed by the contemporary Chinese, and its roof formations, interior screens, and columns also show Chinese influences. Its architecture possibly was meant to give it an exotic appearance.

Jibokjae is flanked by Parujeong (팔우정/八隅亭), an octagonal two-story pavilion, to the left and Hyeopgildang (협길당/協吉堂) to the right. Parujeong was constructed to store books, while Hyeopgildang served as a part of Jibokjae. Both of the buildings are internally connected to Jibokjae.

Bohyeondang (보현당/寶賢堂) and Gahoejeong (가회정/嘉會亭), buildings that also formed a library complex to the south of Jibokjae, were demolished by the Japanese government in the early 20th century.