Where historical tales are told and retold, Where the future is dreamed of, and Where culture and relaxation are enjoyed Come to Gwanghwamun Square. Seoul is refreshing its dreams.
-from the brochure of Gwanghwamun Square-
This year Seoul city open a square in Gwanghwamun called Gwanghwamun Square. It’s quite symbolic, and this place is going to be the famous landmark in Seoul.
Sejong-ro, Seoul’s central street is reborn through Gwanghwamun Square. At the same time, Gwanghwamun is a center of history as well. Kings through hundreds of generation lived here, many memorable situations were here. Do you remember the Korea-Japan world cup of 2002? And do you remember the red waves made by people in red shirts? That was here. In Gwanghwamun.
I personally felt really great about this square is made of. We are, actually a lot of countries around the world obsessive about foreign language and the other cultures. Through this historical place kids having fun with learning their own culture they didn’t know before.
Insider Travel Tip: Before you start explore Gwanghwamun Square, I recommend grab a broacher and found the hidden charm of this place. (Information center located behind the Statue of Admiral Yi, Sun Shin)
1. Statue of Admiral Yi, Sun Shin
Statue of Admiral Yi, Sun Shin was the landmark of Gwanghwamun and even Jongro. He stands here for over 40 years and now he is cleaned up for this grand opening.
Don’t miss the art work of Lee’s battle ship by famous artist Back, Nam Jun. About this art, General Lee made this battle ship inspired from turtle. He won so many battles with this battle ship so this represents his courage and wiseness.
2. Statue of King Sejong the Great
You will find the King Sejong, the great made out of gold-ish. He was the King of the Choseon Dynasty and considered as the greatest king who can communicate with his people. We can guess why he is choosen for this specific place. King Sejong the Great accomplished renaissance of Choseon Dynasty by developing Hangeul, science technology, culture and art. Seoul city offers visitors experience Sejong period as wearing king’s costume.
Situated under him, King Sejong the Great’s life is displayed. This exhibit hall shows different side of King Sejong. Beautifully displayed with lights and digitally trasformed informations. English guide equipment is provided.
3. Ice link
Spend an hour or so in the exhibit hall; check out the season limited ice link. Don’t have skates? Don’t worry. You can rent skates for a dollar (1,000 Korean Won) even gloves and helmets. Well made, well managed, kind of romantic. It changes to flower carpet when the winter is over. Sounds fascinating?
4. Experience ancient Gwanghwamun
You can find ancient Gwanghwamun in every bit of this square. The broachers you have in your hand sure tell you where you can see. For example, there is Woldae in front of the palace gate. Woldae symbolized the dignity of the palace and respect for the king. Its location is indicated by a stone plate. Can you feel the dignity?
5. Haechi exhibit hall
Haechi, it symbolizes the guardian of Seoul. It is a mythical unicorn-lion that distinguishes good from evil. Photos represent the dynamical change of Gwanghwamun in Haechi exhibit hall. (information center is here as well)
Take a walk around the square with a broacher. You won’t regret it.
*How can you get there (by subway):
-Gwanghwamun station : line 5 -also close from City hall station(line 2), Jongro-1 ga station(line 1)
*Other things you can enjoy around the square:
-Chunggyecheon: just a block away -Sejong art center: Accross the street. One of the finest art centers. -Jongro tower: in Jong-ro -Kyobo bookstore: very first grand bookstore in Korea.