Changdeokgung palace is the most reserved well place among of 5 seoul palaces of the Joeson Dynasty(1392~1910) (Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung, Changgyeonggung, Gyeonghuigung, Deoksugung). Changdeokung place was recognized as a world cultural Heritage site by Unesco.
Changdeokgung palace history
Changdeokgung Palace was built in 1405 by 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 last king dealt with state affairs. It is the most well-preserved of the five remaining royal Joseon palaces. The palace grounds are comprised of a public palace area, a royal family residence building, and the rear garden known as a place of rest for the kings, the rear garden boasts a gigantic tree that is over 300 years old, a small pond and a pavilion.
1392 Establishment of Joseon Dynasty
1405 Changdeokgung Palace is dedicated as a secondary royal palace.
1406 The Rear Garden (Secret Garden) is created.
1462 Rear Garden is expanded to the current size (by purchasing and relocating 73 houses).
1610 Changdeokgung Palace is rebuilt following the destruction by fire in 1592, and is adopted as the official royal palace.
1623 Most of Changdeokgung Palace buildings except for the Main Hall (Injeongjeon Hall), are destroyed by fire during Injo Coup., and restored in 1647.
1803 Main hall (Injeongjeon) is rebuilt in 1804 after a fire in 1803.
1910 The last royal council meeting is held (Korea-Japan Annexation Treaty signed).
1917 King’s residential area (“Daejojeon” and “Huijeongdang”) is destroyed by fire.
1920 “Daejojeon” and “Huijeongdang” are rebuilt with materials taken from buildings at Gyeongbokgung palace.
1926 King Sunjong passes away at Daejojeon in Changdeokgung palace.
1999 Large scale restoration work is launched.
1997 Changdeokgung Palace is listed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site.
Changdeokgung palace real garden also called secret garden
It is located behind the inner hall, called “Real garden or Secret Garden,” was constructed during the reign of King Taejong and served as a rest area for the royal family members.. The garden was kept as natural as possible and was touched by human hands only when absolutely necessary. Buyongjeong Pavilion, Buyongji Pond, Juhamnu Pavilion, Eosumun Gate, Yeonghwadang Hall, Bullomun Gate, Aeryeonjeong Pavilion, and Yeongyeongdang Hall are some of the many attractions that occupy the garden. The most beautiful time to see the garden is during the fall when the autumn foliage is at its peak and the leaves have just started to fall.
Changdeokgung place feature
Built at the foot of Mount Bukhansan, Changdeokgung Palace boasts of naturally-arranged spaces that make the most of the surrounding topographical features, in contrast to other palaces that strictly follow the rules of decorum.
Changdeokgung Palace best showcases harmony with nature. It was designed to cause as minimal disturbance to nature as possible, with its space blending in with the mountain terrain. The palace offers a glimpse into the ancestors’ view of nature.
Changdeokgung palace main Buildings
It is the main front gate of Changdeokgung Palace. which was constructed in May, 1412, the 12th year of the reign of King Taejong and burned down in Japanese Invasion of 1592. The gate was rebuilt together with Changdeokgung Palace in the 1st year of the reign of King Gwanghaegun (1609). According to a record in the History of the Joseon Dynasty, a bronze bell was hung at the door in the 13th year (1413), but since the gate has been rebuilt, this can only be imagined. Donhwamun Gate, like Sungnyemun Gate (Namdaemun) and Honghwamun Gate (the front gate of Changgyeonggung Palace), is a cultural asset important for researching the construction style of gates built at the height of the Joseon Dynasty. It is Korea treasure No: 383
Across the Geumcheongyo Bridge, the oldest stone bridge extant in Seoul, is the Injeongjeon Hall (Hall of Benevolent Governance), which is the main throne hall of the palace. The hall was used for holding major state events such as coronation ceremonies, meetings between the king and officials and receptions of foreign envoys. The stone pavement in the front yard contains quartz and white mica, designed to reflect the light to make the king’s face look brighter and more dignified.
The front yard of the Injeongmun Gate is not in a rectangular form but is shaped like a trapezoid. This is another example of building techniques complementing the natural environment. It was equipped with various decorations that symbolize the power and authority of the king.
Rear Garden, Secret garden loved by Kings & citizens
Rear garden(후원) is a masterpiece of Korean traditional landscape architecture. Buildings there are gently integrated into low slopes, valleys and thick woods, with minimal artificial touch, to create a beautiful forest. It would not looks like luxurious place but rather feel humble atmosphere. Kings and royal family members would take breaks in rear garden that is nestled in the remotest, northern part of the palace. The rear garden was occasionally used as the sites for state examinations and banquets as well as a hunting ground. The vast garden takes up 60 percent of the entire palace area that spans 434,877 square meters.
Buyongji Pond, Aeryeonji Pond and Jondeokji Pond, along with various pavilions such as Buyongjeong Pavilion, Jondeokjeong Pavilion and Gwanramjeong Pavilion, are marvelously harmonized with the surrounding landscape. The ponds and the pavilions were completed over the period of hundreds of years. From my personal experience, you may feel comfortable there.
The best way to go Changdeokgung palace is Subway in Seoul. The subway ticket fee would be USD 1 or 1.5 up to where are you staying. In a Google map, enter the ankok station. From Ankok subway station exit 3, it would be about 151 m to ticket place( Donhwamun Gate)
Changdeokgung palace ticket info
Feb-May, Sep-Oct 09:00-18:00
Ticket Price: Adult (ages 19~64) 3000 Krw, Youth(7~18) 1500KRW, Group (over 10 people) 2,400 won
*Free admission: Children (ages 6 or under)
- Last admission: 1 hour before closing
[Secret Garden Tour (Guided tour only)]
Person number: 100 per a day ( 50 on line booking, 50 purchasing on site)
* Nowdays, On line booking for foreigners is not avaliable.
Mar-May, Sep-Oct 10:00-17:30
Feb, Nov 10:00-17:00
Ticket Price: Adults (ages 25-64) 8,000 won
Young adults (ages 19-24) & Senior citizens (ages 65 & older) 5,000 won
Children and Teenagers (ages 7-18) 2,500 won
Groups of 10 people or more 7,400 won
- Free admission: Children (ages 6 or under)
- Monday : Closed
Changdeokgung Hanbok rent shop & how much
Nearby Seoul palaces, there are several Hanbok rent shops. Changdeokgung hanbok rent shop are far away from Ankok subway station about 200~500 meters.
The Hanbok rent price about 10000~15000 Krw per an hour. According to the quality of it, the price would be different.