Constructed in 1616, this was the fifth palace built in the city and one of the best royal grounds for a nice stroll -- the name means "Palace of the Shining Bliss." The palace was designed following the slant of the surrounding hillside and an arched bridge used to connect it to Deoksugung (which is now across the street). The complex used to house over 100 buildings, but most of them were destroyed and the site was reduced by half when the Japanese built Gyeongseong Middle School during the colonization period. A major restoration project was started in 1988 and the palace was reopened to the public in 2002.
The Seoul Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Seoul Historical Museum now occupy parts of the original site. The Seoul Metropolitan Museum of Art has both permanent collections and temporary exhibits of contemporary South Korean artists, including painters, potters, sculptors, and photographers. The Seoul Historical Museum exhibits artifacts and documents chronicling the history of Seoul from the Stone Age to today. Opened in 2002, the majority of its collection is from the Joseon Dynasty, but other exhibits display the landscape of the city, lifestyles of Seoul's citizens, its culture, and its development as a metropolis.
An experiential tae kwon do program is held on the grounds three times daily and a tae kwon do performance is held at 2pm Wednesday through Saturday.