During the late Joseon period, the Korean Empire was caught in the middle of power struggles between nations from around the world.
After the assassination of Empress Myeongseong and the emperor’s escape to the Russian legation, King Gojong changed the name of the kingdom from “Joseon” to the “Korean Empire” and restructured the organization of the royal family to reclaim national sovereignty.
The long-term construction and completion of Seokjojeon Hall was made possible because of Emperor Gojong’s strong belief that the hall was a symbol of the Korean empire itself and the authority of the royal family.
As such, Seokjojeon Hall reflects Emperor Gojong’s hope for the continued sovereignty of the nation, and, after the Japanese colonial era, continued to stand as a landmark of the late Joseon/early Korean Empire period. Today, the hall is open to the public as the Korean Empire Museum of History.
The museum continues to give visitors a glimpse into the heart and mind of Emperor Gojong as he fought for solitarily in a time of turbulence.