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Temple & Monument
Gate Gwanghwamun is good for
- Highly recommended by fellow travellers.
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Why Gate Gwanghwamun is special ?
Gwanghwamun (Hangul: 광화문; hanja: 光化門) is the main and largest gate of Gyeongbokgung Palace, in Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea. It is located at a three-way intersection at the northern end of Sejongno. As a landmark and symbol of Seoul's long history as the capital city during the Joseon Dynasty, the gate has gone through multiple periods of destruction and disrepair. Restoration work on the gate was finished and it was opened to the public on August 15, 2010.
Gwanghwamun was first constructed in 1395 as the main gate to Gyeongbokgung Palace, the main and most important royal palace during the Joseon Dynasty. During the 1592 Japanese invasion, it was destroyed by fire and left in ruins for over 250 years.
Concrete Gwanghwamun with the Japanese Governor General Building, which stood until 1996.
Gwanghwamun was reconstructed in 1867 along with the rest of Gyeongbokgung Palace by the order of regent Daewongun during the reign of Emperor Gojong. The gate stood until 1926, when the Japanese government had it deconstructed and moved it just to the southeast of the current location of the National Folk Museum of Korea to make way for the massive Japanese Governor General Building.
What to explore at Gate Gwanghwamun?
Visiting Gwanghwamun Gate, you can see the spectacular view of this gate. On either side of the gate you can see "Haetae", looking southward. Haetae is a mythical unicorn-lion that is said to protect palaces from fire. According to Pungsujirisang, there was fire element around Gwanaksan Mountain, so in order to protect the palace from fire from the mountain, these fire-eating Haetaes was put beside the gate.
If you want to learn truly about this historic place, you should buy admission ticket to enter Gyeongbokgung Palace which you will see after going through this gate. It is the great destination when you visit Seoul.
How to get to Gate Gwanghwamun?
1) City Hall Station (Seoul Subway Line 1 & 2), Exit 3.
2) Gyeongbokgung Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 6 & 7.
3) Gwanghwamun Station (Seoul Subway Line 5), Exit 1, 2 & 8.
Connected to the underground exit.
Red Bus: 5500-2, 9602, 9706, 9708, 9713
Blue Bus: 103, 150, 401, 402, 406, 408, 607,704
Green Bus: 0212, 1711, 7016, 7018, 7022, 8000
Village Bus: Jongno 09, Jongno 11
- Korean Historical Jewel
- Worth seeing the changing of the guard
- Visit at sunset for a fantastic view
- Great place to visit in Seoul
- Beautiful and city center located
161, Sajik-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Tips for you
A must visit! Gives u access to Gyeongbok Palace ... The statue of the Great King SeJong and General Lee Su Shin
We visited the square on the first night & viewed the gate from afar. The solemn great gate is brightly lit at night. As I walked towards it after looking at the Sejong statue, the view made me feel like I was about to walk into the past. The busy traffic right in front of it created such a huge contrast that I wondered how it would look like in those days. The next day, I arrived at the Gyeongbokgung train station & view the gate from the inside. There's a staircase leading to the top of the gate but that is not accessible for visitors. There are guards proudly stood outside of the gate. Visitors can take photo with the guards. The royal guard changing ceremony took place right behind the gate in front of Gyeongbokgung. Tips: if you visit in late afternoon, just watch the guard changing ceremony latest at 3pm & stroll along the square then Cheonggyecheon stream, Bukchon village & Samcheongsong are also nearby. If you have more time, but ticket to visit Gyeongbokgung which is right behind the Gwanghwamun gate, there is a museum inside the palace.