Monday, January 11, 2010
The day I visited Biwon Garden, there was not a single drop of ink in my fountain pen. I did the sketch under the cold weather with the ball point pen I bought from a local gift shop.
Biwon Garden aka Secret Garden was created in 1463 by King Sejo as part of the expansion for Changdeok Palace which was completed in 1412. The garden had been rebuilt several times. Thirteen of Korea's kings lived here for a total of over 270 years, a longer period than at Gyeongbok Palace. The palace grounds cover over 110 acres. 13 of the original buildings remain, with an additional 28 in Biwon Garden.
Biwon is typical of palace backyards where kings and other members of the royal family would go to relax and entertain. In 1997, it was listed as a World Heritage Site as an outstanding example of Far Eastern Palace architecture and garden design. To be able to take a look inside the palace, we had to take part in a guided tour so I had very little time to do the sketch. The best time to visit the garden should be in Spring. However, I was satisfied when I finished sketching the trees without leaves!