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.