Gwanghwamun Square

Gwanghwamun Square

Gwanghwamun Square is divided into six sections. At its center stands a statue of King Sejong the Great, the fourth and most respected king of the Joseon Dynasty and creator of Hangeul, Korea's alphabet; and a statue of Admiral Yi Sunshin, a naval commander noted for his victories against the Japanese navy during the Japanese invasions of Korea (1592-1598) and a hero among Koreans. Other attractions include the popular 12.23 Fountain, a sculpture of Haechi (the symbol of Seoul), a flower carpet, and Yeoksamulgil ( or the "Waterway of History") on either side of the square.

Gwanghwamun Square stretches out from Gwanghwamun (Gate), once the main gate of Gyeongbokgung (Palace), to Sejongno Sageori (Crossroads). This area was once Yukjo-geori (Avenue of Six Ministries), the center of Hanyang, which was the capital city during the Joseon Dynasty. Nowadays it is home to the Government's major administrative departments. Originally the area was a 16-lane roadway but in 2009, Seoul Metropolitan Government decided to create a landmark national square by transforming 10 lanes of the roadway into a public space where Seoulites could rest and socialize.

An historic, symbolic square

The statue of King Sejong is the square's focal point. In front of the statue, the main inventions from King Sejong's reign are on display, including the hangeul alphabet and scientific instruments such as a sundial, rain gauge and celestial globe. A nearby gallery tells "The Story of King Sejong," featuring a variety of materials and artifacts portraying the life and achievements of the great man himself.

  • A statue of King Sejong the Great at the center of the square
    A statue of King Sejong the Great at the center of the square

  • The Story of King Sejong exhibition hall underneath the square
    "The Story of King Sejong" exhibition hall underneath the square
A central square

Near the statue of Admiral Yi Sunshin are the 12.23 Fountain and Yeoksamulgil ("Waterway of History"). The fountain's name commemorates a great victory in 1597, when Admiral Yi defeated 133 Japanese naval ships with only 12 ships of his own, and also recalls how he fought 23 battles without a single defeat. Yeoksamulgil flowing on either side of the square tells the history of Korea from the year 1392, when the Joseon Dynasty was founded, to 2006 on the east side, with the other side left blank for future events to be commemorated. The waterway and its fountain are especially popular with children in summertime.

  • The 12.23 Fountain
    The 12.23 Fountain

  • Yeoksamulgil
A magical square at night

Gwanghwamun Square is famous for its beauty after dark with the dramatically and colorfully illuminated statue of King Sejong and the 12.23 Fountain at its center. Nearby the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts is another of Seoul's finest nighttime views, and also KT Hall often holds art exhibitions and concerts for Seoulites.

"The Story of King Sejong" exhibition hall is accessible through any of its three entrances at the Sejong Center, the KT Hall and behind the statue of King Sejong.
  • The statue of King Sejong the Great at night
    The statue of King Sejong the Great at night

  • The 12.23 Fountain at night, framing the statue of Admiral Yi Sunshin
    The 12.23 Fountain at night, framing the statue of Admiral Yi Sunshin

SBS Variety Show < Running Man >

  • Original run: July 11, 2010 - present
  • Summary: Running Man is new genre in reality-variety shows. Focused in the urban environment, the celebrity cast completes missions at various Korean landmarks to win the race.
  • Episode: 86
  • Scene: Members compete in sports at Gwanghwamun Plaza
런닝맨 하지원이 광화문광장에서 볼링치는 모습
SBS예능 런닝맨의 로고 

KBS Drama < IRIS >

  • Original run: October 14, 2009 ~ December 17, 2009
  • Summary: A hit blockbuster drama about South Korean black ops agents risking their lives to prevent a second Korean War.
  • Scene: After recovering the North Korean nuclear weapon at Gwanghwamun, a firefight between Kim Hyun-jun (played by Lee Byung-hun) and North Korean terrorists takes place at Gwanghwamun Square.
  • Hallyu topic: Awarded the best foreign production at the 2010 International Drama Festival in Tokyo
    *Broadcasted in Japan, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the Middle East
  • Actor Lee Byung-hun:
    Actor Lee Byung-hun achieves international stardom in Asia, Europe and the Americas after hit drama, All In. Becomes a Hollywood star after appearing in .
    * Co-star with Bruce Willis in Hollywood film, < Red 2 >
    * Key roles: < IRIS 1 >, < A Bittersweet Life >, < The Good, the Bad, the Weird >, < G.I. Joe >
  • Actor T.O.P:
    Actor T.O.P is also a member of K-pop group Big Bang. Notable for his role as a cold blooded killer in < IRIS 1 >
    * Key roles: < IRIS 1 >, < 71: Into the Fire >, < The Commitment >
[2010-12-01 18:30 Input / 2015-02-25 13:31 Modify]