These days, there is an atmosphere of calm and peace in Deoksugung Palace and nearby Jeongdong Street. A century ago, however, the area was an arena of power rivalry.
Jungmyeongjeon Hall in Deoksugung Palace is a red-brick, arch-style, two-story building designed by a Russian architect named Afanasy Ivanovich Seredin-Sabatin. Its name was changed from Suokheon to Jungmyeongjeon, as Emperor Gojong stayed there after a fire broke out in Deoksugung Palace in 1904. After the death of King Gojong, the building was separated from Deoksugung Palace and used as a social club for foreigners. Later, the building was presented to King Yeongchin, a son of Emperor Gojong and Court Lady Eom. In 2010, it was restored to its original status (Historic Site No. 124) as part of Deoksugung Palace after two years of work.