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.
Changdeokgung Palace was built in 1405 by King Taejong (the third king of the Joseon Dynasty). In
1592 the main palace, Gyeongbokgung Palace, was completely destroyed by fire during the Japanese
invasion of Korea and Changdeokgung became the home of the Joseon court. For this reason
Changdeokgung Palace is the place which most represents the Joseon Dynasty in the popular
imagination. Its status as a national symbol meant that it suffered deliberate damage by the Japanese
during their occupation of Korea. For many years afterwards it was neglected until it was
reconstructed and restored to its original state in 1991.