The Hwaseong Haenggung (화성 행궁; literally, “Resting Place of the King at Hwaseong”) is a palace located in Suwon, South Korea, about an hour’s drive from downtown Seoul. It was constructed in stages, with the main gate being erected in 1790 and continuing until 1795.
It was built as an act of filial piety by King Jeongjo, the 22nd king of the Joseon Dynasty, and was built as a retreat for the King in times of vacation, as well as a means of escape. Although there were several such “temporary palaces” set up in Korea, the Hwaseong Haenggung was known to be the most often used, as well as the most beautiful.
However, the palace is also infamous for the gruesome killing of who could’ve been the future King. Although his name was Jongjo, he is better known as the “Sado Saeja” (사도세자; literally, Crown Prince Sado).
Although he was earmarked as the future King, Jongjo had several qualities that made him unfit to rule – such as a taste for brutal murder, for example, as well as a personality that made him infamous in Seoul.
Finally, the then-current king (King Yeongjo) solved the problem by locking him up in a rice chest and letting him starve to death over seven days. He was 28 years old at the time.