Changdeokgung Palace was built in 1395 and it is one of the "Five Grand Palaces" built by the kings of the Joseon Dynasty. Changdeokgung, like the other Five Grand Palaces in Seoul, was heavily damaged during the Japanese occupation of Korea. Currently, only 30% of the Palace structures remain.
Changdeokgung was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1997. The UNESCO committee inscribing the site stated the place was an "outstanding example of Far Eastern palace architecture and garden design" being exceptional because the buildings are "integrated into and harmonized with the natural setting" and adapted "to the topography and retaining indigenous tree cover."