Dating from 1405, this is the oldest Seoul palace and it was declared a World Heritage Site in 1997 on the basis of it being an outstanding example of Far Eastern palace architecture and garden design. The palace, rebuilt after having been burned down more than once, housed the royal court until 1872 and was the home of Korea's last Emperor until 1926.
The landscaped gardens which are part of the 580,000 square meters palace complex feature ponds, bridges, pavilions, pagodas and some trees which are three centuries old. Details of the various guided tours are provided at the website, the general tour covering a distance of 2.1 km and lasting approximately 80 minutes whilst the special tour lasts for 2 hours. The palace is not open to the public on Mondays and on Thursdays there are self-guided tours only.