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Born in 1397, King Sejong the Great is regarded as the most enlightened king in Korean history. As the fourth ruler of the Chosun Dynasty, King Sejong was an accomplished scholar and writer. He is best known, however, for his developing of the Korean Alphabet (Han-Gul). Composed of 14 consonants and 10 vowels, Han-Gul was much simpler than the Chinese system, and enabled literacy to become more available to the general population. King Sejong was also known for governing his people with affection and virtue and for his willingness to see his own mistakes. King Sejong's strength of character and remarkable intellect were combined with genuine humility. In his journal, he wrote, "All that I am, or will be, I have learned from my family, my friends, my teachers, and training with the sword."



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King T'aejo, the founder of the Chosun Kingdom, erected this pavilion on a lake in the west section of Kyongbuk Palace. He named it Kyonghoeru, or "Pavilion of Joyous Meetings". Kyonghoeru was originally held up with forty-eight stone pillars, ornately sculpted with dragons. But during Japanese aggression in 1592, the original pavilion burned dowm, leaving only the stone base. The pavilion was reconstructed in 1867, and the destroyed dragon pillars were replaced with new pillars that are much more plain in design. During the Chosun period, the pavilion was used for royal banquets and was a main feature of the palace courtyard. Today, the pavilion is roped off to tourists and only opens to play host to special government functions.



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