The Secret Garden UNESCO Heritage
Spring is approaching and I think it would be the best time to return to the Secret Garden soon…This beautiful garden located behind the Changdeokgung palace was originally constructed for the benefit of the royal family and women of the palace. It’s a magic place just to wander around. You will find there a lotus pond, several outstanding pavilions, and landscaped lawns, trees, and flowers.
Just like English gardens, the Korean gardens used to be kept as natural as possible and so the streams, rocks and hillsides become integral parts of the garden. There are over 26,000 specimens of a hundred different species of trees in the garden and some of the trees behind the palace are now over 300 years old.
The secret garden has undergone a series of name changes over its history: because it was an extremely private space for the king it has been called ‘Geumwon’ (금원, 禁苑, Forbidden garden) because even high officials could not dare to come in without king’sname of the garden used to be ‘Naewon’ (내원, 內苑, ‘Inner garden’).
Today Koreans often call it ‘Biwon’ (비원, 秘院, Secret garden) which derived from the office of the same name in the late 19th century. Though the garden had many other names, the name most frequently used through the Joseon Dynasty Period was ‘Huwon’.