A little history on the palace thanks to Korea Tourism site:
Changdeokgung Palace was the second royal villa built following the construction of Gyeongbukgung Palace in 1405. It was the principal palace for many of the Joseon kings and 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.
|Injeong-jeon - the Throne Hall of Changdeokgung|
|The colorful leaves on the grounds of the Secret Garden|
|Our tour guide among the colorful trees walking along the Secret Garden|
|Among the sites in the Secret Garden, Juhamnu and Yeonghwadang|
|Aeryeonjeong Pavillion and Aeryeonji Pond|
|Around the Yeongyeongdang area|
We were then lead to more areas where the royal family use these buildings as a place for rest and also study. One thing I learned was about how the floor of these buildings were heated during that time. The buildings were made elevated to have spaces between the ground and the floor where they would set up fire that will produce the heat. There were also small openings around the house which I guess were to let out the smoke from these fire. I can understand why the royals would make these areas for resting as the environment is so calming and beautiful. The nature blends well with the structures. Expect to do a little hiking to go through the tour but you can always take your time and not feel tired.
|One of the example of heater vents|
The Ongnyucheon (옥류천, 玉流川, "Jade Stream") area is of particular interest. It contains a U-shaped water channel carved in 1636 for floating wine cups, with a small waterfall and an inscribed poem on the boulder above it. The area also contains five small pavilions.
|The infamous boulder with a poem inscribed|