Changdeok Palace is the second royal villa built after Gyeongbok Palace in 1405. Changdeok was the principal palace for many of the Joseon Kings and is the best preserved among the five remaining royal Joseon Palaces. The rear garden that was used as a resting place by the kings boasts a gigantic tree that is over 300 years old, a small pond, and a pavilion. The palace grounds are comprised of a public palace area, a royal family residence building, and the rear garden.
Jongmyo Royal Shrine
Jongmyo Shrine was built by Lee Seong Gye (1335-1408), the first king and founding father of the Joseon Dynasty. It was a primary place of worship for Kings throughout the Joseon Dynasty and has been registered as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site for its well-preserved ancient customs such as memorial services and traditional music.
One of the many unique characteristics of Jongmyo Shrine is the 3-forked path of slightly raised roads that starts from in front of the main gate. The middle path was created in honor of the former kings and leads to Jeongjeon, where their mortuary tablets are preserved and memorial services are held. The tradition of enshrining successive kings was originally handed down from China, and has been well maintained. Jeongjeon has 19 different rooms in all, honoring 19 different kings.
Insadong Arts and Crafts Market
Insadong, located in the heart of the city, is an important place where old, precious and traditional goods are on display. There is one main road in Insadong with alleys on each side. Within these alleys are galleries, traditional restaurants, teahouses, and cafes.
The galleries are the heartbeat of Insadong. There are about 100 galleries in the area and you can see every example of traditional Korean fine art varying from paintings to sculptures. The most famous galleries are the Hakgojae Gallery, which functions as the center of folk art, Gana Art Gallery, an exhibit that promotes many promising artists, and the Gana Art Center.