Welcome to Changdeokgung Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site the most well-preserved palace of all the royal palaces from the Joseon Dynasty (1392 – 1910). This is where kings and their ministers discussed state affairs to effectively reign over the people, and where the royal family resided.
Changdeokgung Palace was built in 1405 by King Taejong, the third ruler of Joseon. All palaces in Seoul were burnt down during the Japanese invasion in 1592 and Changdeokgung Palace became the first palace to be rebuilt in 1610. Since then, it became the primary palace for about 270 years where 13 kings including the last monarch dealt with state affairs.
While the main buildings of Gyeongbokgung Palace, built on flat land, were strictly laid out on a north-south axis, the buildings and pavilions of Changdeokgung, located at the foot of a mountain, were positioned more naturally, following the contours of the land. This created a more relaxed atmosphere, while maintaining the dignity of a royal palace. The whole Changdeokgung compound covers an area of about 462,000 square meters(110 acres), and the Rear Garden also known as the Secret Garden accounts for two thirds of the total grounds.
Changdeokgung Palace was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997 and is regarded as a masterpiece of Korean palace architecture where the buildings are in perfect harmony with the natural setting.