Changdeokgung Palace is a royal palace in the Joseon Dynasty in Seoul. It is located in the east of Gyeongbok Palace, so the Changdeokgung Palace is also called Donggung or East Palace.
Glorious Palace of Virtue
The name Changdeokgung means “Glorious Palace of Virtue”. Gyeongbokgung Palace serves as the old palace in the role of a government center surrounded by ancestral temples, sacrificial altars, and government offices. However, The King prefers Changdeokgung Palace to become a residence, compared to Gyeongbokgung Palace.
The Changdeokgung Palace became a government-owned asset and was opened to the public after the Joseon government ended in 1910,
Until now, this complex continues to be the pride of the Korean people because it is a legacy of the architectural elements of the Three Kingdoms era that stood in harmony with the natural surroundings.
World Heritage site
In 1997, UNESCO established the Changdeokgung Palace as a World Heritage site.
The Eastern Palace complex was established in 1405. Initially, the building function was only used as a villa for the royal family. This function is used only as a temporary residence when the king wants to take a break from routine activities in the main palace.
Most villa buildings are usually constructed far away from the capital city, especially in areas that have beautiful landscapes. However, it is different from Changdeokgung being the only villa built inside the capital city. Changdeokgung Palace is just 1 km from the main palace.
The habit of building villas in the city as it began since the era of Goryeo, because the design of the construction of Changdeok Palace is for the villa, the building is not so spacious and the facilities provided are preferred for the King’s ease. When the role is increasing, where more formal activities are performed there, then the complex is expanded and the number of buildings added.
During the first 200 years, Changdeokgung Palace was not affected by political problems occurring in the main palace. When the king was in a quiet state, he would go to the Changdeokgung Palace to rest. Part of the king’s favorite complex is Gwangyeollu or a vast ward-like building. In that place, King Taejong often held a feast for the court officials.
It can be concluded that in the near Changdeokgung Palace there is a wide field. For approximately 100 years, Gwangyeollu was used as a place for relaxing. However, as time went by, when it entered the 16th century, the building began to be weathered and unkempt. Then it was decided to be torn down and never rebuilt.
In 1830, for the umpteenth time, a fire took place and devouring out the inner buildings of the palace. The incident was due to the rigor in operating the heating system. However, there is always such an accident, the palace immediately reconstruction as the original form. Thus, the basic draft is still preserved today.
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