Huwon Secret Garden is a rear garden at the palace that flows naturally with nature and was used as a place of leisure by members of the royal family. The garden, which has also been known as Bukwon, Geumwon, and Biwon. At 78 acres, the garden takes up about sixty percent of the palace grounds.
This intimate rear garden, which today is the highlight of any visit to Changdeokgung Palace, was first constructed during the reign of King Taejong, who ruled from 1400 to 1418. Its location allowed access from either Changdeokgung Palace or adjacent Changgyeonggung Palace.
The royal family has used the garden as a place of rest since the reign of King Taejong (1400 to 1418). They would come here to contemplate life, write poems, and hold banquets. The garden was also used as an archery range and as the location of military drills.
The highlight of the garden is the two story Juhamnu Pavilion, which was used by as a library and for reading by the king. The pavilion is located on a small, peaceful square lily pond.
Many of the pavilions and buildings located here were destroyed by fire in 1592 during the Japanese invasion of Korea.
Restoration work began in 1623 during the first year of the reign of King Injo. This work continued from one king to the next leading to its present appearance.
The design of the garden flows naturally with the surrounding nature. The exquisite design is adapted to the topography, geography, and ridges of Mt. Bugaksan. Artificial landscaping is minimal and left untouched to human hands as much as possible. Many of the trees seen here today are over 300 years old. The landscaping and trees are a great example of Joseon Dynasty gardening design.