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Gwanghwa-mun gate, Gyeongbok-gung Palace

Gate, Guards, and Phoenixes
When Seoul's Gyeongbok-gung Palace was built in the 1390s, it was the centerpiece of the newly established Joseon dynasty, which had just named the city as its capital. Six centuries later, after invasions, fires, colonization, and wars, its restoration has brought back the medieval pheasant-feather-capped changing-of-the-guard ceremony. Looking out from the palace, down the historical artery of the city, now lined with skyscrapers and giant-screen televisions, it seems only appropriate that a pair of phoenixes preside over this gateway. Vibrant rebirth.