See & Do
Changdeokgung Palace is also known as Donggwol, the Eastern Palace, because of its location to the east of Gyeongbokgung Palace. For 270 years, the palace was home to the Joseon government and was also the favored residence of many Joseon Dynasty kings. This makes Changdeokgung Palace the longest-serving royal residential palace. Compared to other palaces, Changdeokgung Palace is well-preserved and still has many of its original features. A particular virtue of Changdeokgung Palace is the way its buildings blend into the surrounding landscape. The palace's rear garden, Huwon, is considered an excellent example of Korean garden design and is the only rear garden of any Korean palace. In 1997, Changdeokgung Palace was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Visitors to Changdeokgung Palace might also like to see the nearby Changgyeonggung Palace as well as the recently restored Naeuiwon (Royal infirmary) at the entrance to Changdeokgung Palace.
Huwon: a garden of natural beauty
Huwon is self-contained and occupies sixty percent of Changdeokgung. The palace buildings are situated on the ridge of Bugaksan (Mt.) and have very few artificial features in order to blend into their natural surroundings. In the center of Huwon is a large pond, Buyongji, along with Buyongjeong (Pavilion) and Juhapru (Pavilion). A cross-shaped roof and two supporting pillars rising from the pond make the design of Buyongjeong unique. It is said that King Jeongjo (the twenty-second king of the Joseon Dynasty) and his courtiers often enjoyed fishing here at Buyongjeong. In the past Juhapru housed a royal library and was a place where both king and courtiers studied and discussed politics. Eosumun (Gate), the entrance to Juhapru, has a symbolic meaning for kings and government officials because of its name which literally means “Fish cannot live without water” but is usually understood as “The ruler should always put his people first.”