Changdeok Palace (Changdeokgung), Seoul 창덕궁
Located to the east of Gyeongbok, the palace is often referred to as the "East Palace."
Built during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), the palace was completed in 1412 after construction started in 1405, but was destroyed in the Japanese invasion of 1592-98 and then subsequently rebuilt.
The palace blends in well with the surrounding hills and offers superb examples of Joseon palace architecture and garden design. Members of the Korean royal family lived here until as recently as 1926 following the Japanese annexation of 1910.
The ornate Throne Hall (Injeong-jeon) was used for state events and coronations. The plum blossom pattern on the ceiling dates from 1897 and symbolizes the imperial status of the Han Empire.
The Council Hall (Seonjeong-jeon) is noted for its blue-glazed roof tiles, which date from the 17th century.
The King's Residence (Huijeong-dang) and the larger Queen's Residence (Daejo-jeon) and courtyard stand close together.
The Nakseon-jae and Seokbok-heon were built by King Heonjong, who ruled Korea between 1834-1849 for his concubine Lady Kim. The villas are built in a less-decorative style than the other palace structures and were designed as a private and personal space for the king to relax with his mistress. A small, terraced flower garden with lotus pond is nearby.
A huge area of Changdeok Palace is devoted to the beautiful Rear Garden (Huwon) located behind the main palace buildings. The 78-acre garden contains many ancient trees, lotus ponds, gazebos, and landscaped lawns and flowers besides a small stream.
The Yeongyeong-dang within the garden consists of two separate, plainly adorned buildings for men and women.
The Huwon or Biwon ("Secret Garden") as it is sometimes referred to was a place where the kings might hold military inspections, archery contests or displays of fireworks for the amusement of his court.
There are guided walking tours in English (10.30 & 14.30), Japanese (12.30) and Chinese (16.00).
Changdeok Palace Access
Take a Seoul subway Line 1, 3 or 5 train to Jongno-3-ga Station (Exit 6) or a Line 3 train to Anguk Station (Exit 3). Gyeongbokgung Station is three stops from Seoul Station.
Alternatively take a Seoul bus #109, #151, #162, #171, #172 or #272 (Blue) or #7025 (Green).
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