map of Changdeokgung palace
source: palace brochure


Seoul, Korea

Changdeok Palace, the second of five grand Joseon palaces in Seoul, was constructed by King Taejong (the father of Sejong the Great) between 1405 and 1412. Designed to be less formal than its predecessor Gyeongbokgung (1395), Changdeokgung has always been loved for its harmonious treatment of nature and other features that deliberately recall an earlier Three Kingdoms aesthetic. As usual the public buildings occupy the front, and the private family buildings occupy the back, of the palace grounds.

Like other historic sites in Seoul, Changdeokgung has suffered major episodes of damage and reconstruction. The oldest existing palace buildings are early 17th century, restored after the Imjin War.