COME & VISIT
The road in front of Gwanghwamun had been referred to as Yukjo (six ministries) Street as it was lined with buildings of six ministries along with others in the Joseon period. Under Japanese rule, all the buildings were dismantled and the road lost its symbolic significance. With the creation of Gwanghwamun Square, Yukjo Street has been restored and various symbolic features (statue of King Sejong and Sejong Story Exhibition Hall, Haechi Madang, Waterways of History, and Haechi statue, among others) are on display, establishing the square as a restored historical site.
As the previous 16-lane thoroughfare without a walkway did not allow pedestrians access to surrounding areas, the central 6 lanes were converted to Gwanghwamun Square, linking the square to nearby commercial areas.
Gwanghwamun Square is expected to serve as a major landmark and improve urban competitiveness along with the rich historical and cultural resources nearby.
Admiral Yi Sun-shin Fountain
- 12·23 Fountain: the symbol of Admiral Yi Sun-shin and his life
- Operation hours: 08:00 to 22:00
- Exhibition and promotion associated with significance of the restoration of Haechi
- Haechi Exhibition Hall, a gallery, and convenience facilities
(restrooms, nursery rooms, powder rooms, drinking fountains, and the like)
- Opening hours: 05:00 to 01:00. the following day
Waterways of History
- Memorial waterways with stone plates engraved with major historical events since the foundation of the Joseon Dynasty
- 365m in length, 2cm in depth, and 1m in width
- Operation hours: Waterway-24 hours, Mist Fountain-08:00 to 22:00
- A site for relaxation and exhibition
Statue of King Sejong
- Detailed portrayal of King Sejong’s gentle and
kindhearted facial expression and elegant dress sense
- Major inventions in his time including a sundial, a rain gauge,
and a celestial globe exhibited in front of the statue
- A large flowerbed blanketed with flowering plants and a lawn planted in a traditional Dancheong pattern
- Elements: flowering plants (224,537 flowers in 9 species) and lawn (408㎡)
- Converted to a skating rink in winter
King Sejong was born on May 15, 1397, as the third son of Joseon’s 3rd king Taejong and Queen Min, who later was given the title Queen Consort Wongyeong, in Junsubang (the present-day Tongin-dong area), Hanseongbu (Seoul).
He was crowned as the 4th king of Joseon in 1418 at age 22 after his father King Taejong. Based on his love for his people and idea of democracy, King Sejong ushered in the Renaissance Era in Korea through the creation of Hangeul and advances in various areas, including scientific technology, culture and art, the military, foreign policy, agriculture, and astronomy.
Gwanghwamun had been referred to as Jeongmun until it was renamed Gwanghwamun during the reign of King Sejong. Gwang literally means bright, big, and righteous. Accordingly, Gwanghwamun purports to mean the gate through which the King’s virtuous light and culture shines on the nation and convey the King’s desire that all his orders and messages should be right, great, and fair enough to edify the whole nation.
King Sejong was a great leader who brought glory to the nation with his outstanding accomplishment in politics, culture, art, science, and astronomy. The Sejong Story exhibition hall underneath Gwanghwamun Square is dedicated to the great king to honor his life and achievements. The exhibition hall will serve as a cultural landmark that showcases King Sejong’s idea on democracy and the meaning of Korea’s most significant cultural heritage, the invention of the Korean alphabet, Hangeul. It is the site where King Sejong’s noble mind and love for his people is felt vividly.
- Opening hours: 10:30 to 22:30 on weekdays and Saturday, closed every Monday
- Facilities: custody room- baby stroller and wheelchair rental available/ MP3 audio guide and PDA video guide available
- Location: Haechi Madang in Gwanghwamun Square
- Paintings, photos, sculptures, and other art works related to the square
- Operation period and hours: Year-round, 06:00 ~ 01:00 the following day (subject to change according to the subway schedule)
- Foreign-language interpreters and historical and cultural commentaries by travel guides. Historical and cultural experience of the 600-year history of Seoul with Gwanghwamun Square as the starting point
- Eligibility: a group of at least 20 local and foreign visitors
- Meeting place: in front of the Statue of King Sejong in Central Square
- Walking tour offered: 3 times a day (10:00, 14:00, and 15:00)
- Hours: 10:00 to 18:00 (10:00 to 16:00 in winter)
- Reservations: online reservations at least 5 days in advance of the intended visit
|2:30 hrs.||Cheonggye Square, Seoul Square,
Nearby attractions: Old Russia Legation,
Seoul Museum of Arts, and Seoul Museum of History
closed every Monday
|2:30 hrs.||Cheonggye Square and bridges across it including
Gwangtonggyo (Bridge) , Gwanggyo (Bridge),
Jangtonggyo (Bridge) and Samilgyo (Bridge), and Insa-dong
|2 to 2:30 hrs.||Gyeongbokgung (Palace),
the National Palace Museum of Korea,
Hyoja-dong Sarangbang (under renovation),
and National Folk Museum
closed every Tuesday
- A tour guided by a professional storyteller who provides a commentary on the features
- Route: from Central Square to Gwanghwamun (Walking tour route is subject to change.)
- Program period: March to October (every Friday to Sunday)
- Program offered: 4 times a day (10:00, 12:00, 14:00, 16:00)
- Duration: 60 to 80 min./ 4 times a day (2 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon)
- Contact: the Square Management Team (02-397-5906) / 09:00 ~ 18:00
- Period: every December ~ January the following year (18:00 ~ 23:00)
- Event: Media Art Project, Light Art Project, and more.