Daeseong Palace

From Themys Project
Daeseong Palace
Southern view of Daeseong Palace, seen from the Daeseong Square.
General information
Architectural styleZhenian Neo-Classicism
Town or citySudo District, Daedo
Country Zhenia
Construction startedJuly 17, 1439
ClientEmperor Seongjo, Empire of Zhenia
Government of Zhenia
Technical details
Floor count7
Floor area20,000 square metres (4.9 acres)

The Daeseong Palace (Zhenian: 대성궁), formerly known as the Gwangmyeong Palace (Zhenian: 광명궁) during Imperial Zhenia, is the office and residence of the Chancellor of Zhenia. Located towards the northern end of the complex of governmental buildings in the Sudo-gu district of Daedo and directly south of the complex of national museums, it has been the residence and office of every Zhenian Chancellor since Amasar Ren in 1499 AC, as well as the imperial palace of both Imperial Zhenian emperors from 1444 to 1499. The term 'Daeseong Palace' has also been used to refer to the government as a whole, in reverence of the tradition of the government making major announcements in the particular building.

Originally intended as the imperial palace of the Empire of Zhenia, the construction of Daeseong Palace was specifically overseen by Emperor Seongjo but primarily handled by Suhong Kim. Drawing inspiration from existing Shindanese royal buildings in Hansan as well as surviving imperial buildings in mainland Zhenia, the building was unique in that it employed western architectural styles and techniques to achieve a more modern interpretation of Zhenian architecture, with a higher focus on practicality. Construction of accompanying buildings, which were expected to house the offices of many of the empire's highest-ranking governmental officials, as well as a dedicated imperial garden to the north of the palace, was done in tandem with the construction of the palace itself. Emperor Seongjo moved from the Daehwa-era imperial palace to present-day Daeseong Palace upon its completion in 1444, bestowing the name 'Gwangmyeong Palace' (meaning broad light) to the palace in blessing of the future of the empire. The palace continued to serve as the center of the empire's power until its transition into the republic in 1499.

After Zhenia's transition into a republic in 1499, there had been discussions regarding the fate of the building: while some called for the removal and reconstruction of governmental buildings in its site, it was decided that the palace would house the workplace and residence of the Chancellor, while accompanying buildings will be shifted into governmental offices. The palace was renamed 'Daeseong' in 1500 AC, as in the posthumous name of Emperor Seongjo in honor of his achievements; after implementing marginal changes to accommodate the needs of the new republic, most notably the revision of the imperial court into the Chancellor's office, most of the buildings and their composition remained intact: Daeseong Square, a plaza extending 350 meters to the south from the palace, was allocated in 1511 in tribute to the new republic. Since then, the palace has undergone big and small alterations over time, with the last major refit being the reinforcement of internal load-bearing steel frames under Kim Shimin's orders, after its partial destruction during an attack on Daedo in the Second Great War. Smaller changes in the building's interior were also observed, with the latest changes being made in the office rooms during the Kim Shimin administration.



The first building to occupy the site of the Daeseong Palace was the Governor's residence and office of the prefectural seat of Gaewon prefecture during the Shindan dynasty, as the modern-day Sudo-gu district was situated at the center of the Old City area. The site of the Daeseong palace had been ideal for the old city area, as the site was situated at the center of the island. It had served as the administrative center of the prefecture at the time.


Current building



Major events

Public access and security

Nearby buildings

Daeseong Square

Daeseong Square is a public square situated directly south of the Daeseong Palace. Measuring around 350 meters in length, it lies directly in between the two ways of traffic that constitute the Emperor Seongjo Boulevard running north and south of Sudo-gu district.

Gwangmyeong Gardens

See also