South Korea – a beautiful country in the Eastern part of Asia. Just like its neighboring countries, it too has its own colorful historical and political past. Luckily, for both locals and tourists, some traces of the old world still exist today, one of which is that Changdeokgung Palace.
The Changdeokgung Palace or the “Palace of Prospering Value” is one of the original five grand palaces that were built during the Joseon Dynasty. Since its construction, it has played home to several rulers and has undergone several extensions and renovations through time.
One major event that affected the Changdeokgung is the Japanese invasion in 1592. This palace along with the five others was torched by the Japanese soldiers in an attempt to gain control of South Korea. Being the center of politics and commerce in Seoul, Changdeokgung was promptly rebuilt by King Seonjo and King Gwanghaegun. But that attack was just the first. It survived one more arson and revolt during that political era.
Despite several renovations and reconstructions, the Changdeokgung Palace remained true to its original design. To honor the architecture and the history behind the place, it has been proclaimed as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites last 1997.
Because of the size of the area, the arranged tours can last from one to one and half hours. You can get a guided tour from April to November at any day except for Mondays and Thursdays. If you do not speak the local language, you do not have to worry because an English guided tour can also be arranged.
Places to see:
1. Donhwamun Gate – the largest of all the palace gates that was built in 1412.
2. Injeongjeon Hall – the palace’s throne ball where major state affairs were held.
3. Huijeongdang Hall – originally, this was meant to be the king’s bedchamber, but later on converted to be his workplace where he conducted state affairs. The room now has a very modern, interior that is influenced by western countries.
4. Huwon Garden – a 78-acre garden that was originally made for the use of the royal family alone. This huge piece of land now houses over 26,000 or so specimens of flora and fauna. Some of the landscaped trees are even said to be approximately 3 centuries old.