Hidden inside Gyeongbokgung Palace, Jibokjae is one of the oldest and, possibly, the most visually stunning public libraries in Seoul. Built in 1891 in the most “modern” architectural style in the era, the hall used to belong to King Gojong and served as his private study and meeting room. Dozens of decades later, in April 2016, Jibokjae reopened as a public library containing more than 1,000 books on history and figures of Joseon Dynasty. Official documents exchanged with foreign governments, facsimile editions of historical materials and translated versions of Korean literature (English, Chinese and Japanese) can also be found in the room. Adorned with delicate wood carvings of lotus flowers on the ceiling, the entire hall offers an aesthetically intriguing space for readers. Wind blows in and out through the open doors during warmer seasons and the carpeted floors provide a cozy feel. Right by the Jibokjae hall stands Palwoojeong, a majestic and elaborate structure which used to house King Gojong’s rest space back in the day. Now a book café, the two-story pavilion offers traditional teas, desserts as well as coffee (according to historical records, King Gojong was a coffee enthusiast at the time).