Deoksu Palace, right near City Hall in downtown Seoul, was where Korea’s penultimate king and emperor, Gojong of Joseon, lived for a time and where he later died. Up to and including the time that he proclaimed the Dae Han Empire, Korea was under great pressure from the Japanese. After the assassination of his wife, Queen Myeongseong, King Gojong sought refuge with his son, the Crown Prince Sunjong in the Russian Embassy for about a year. From the Russian legation, he controlled the Korean government. While there, he developed a taste and liking for coffee. After ending his time in the Russian Embassy, he commissioned a Russian architect to build a pavilion for him where he could drink coffee and host parties. This is the first European building in a Korean palace complex.
The pavilion is adorned with traditional East Asian symbols of longetivity such as deer and bats. It is a very nice fusion between East and West.