Gwanghwamun is the largest gate of Gyeongbokgung Palace and one of the most identifiable and popular landmarks in Seoul. This imposing structure is the main entrance to the historic palace and adjacent to Gwanghwamun Square. The changing of the guards at the gate is a favourite sight for both tourists and locals, as it gives a glimpse into Korean military tradition. Gwanghwamun was built in 1395 in the earliest years of the Joseon Dynasty, but has been destroyed and restored several times. Gwanghwamun Square is a place to meet friends, enjoy a stroll, or people-watch whilst nibbling on lunch.
- Venture under the massive Gwanghwamun gate, known to have been first constructed in Seoul in the late 14th century and boasting impeccable ornamental architecture in traditional wood over granite walls.
- Enjoy a summer stroll along the musical fountain walkway of Gwanghwamun Square, where visitors can admire the statues of Admiral Lee Sun Sin and King Sejong the Great.
- Spend a day exploring the palace grounds of Seoul’s legendary Joseon-era royal palace, Gyeongbokgung Palace, home to beautiful architecture, glistening ponds, and two national museums.
Gwanghwamun Gate, the square, and the Gyeongbokgung Palace complex are all located at the northern end of the main street Sejong-daero. The surrounding neighbourhood is known as Palpan-dong and is home to many of Seoul’s historic and cultural attractions. Changdeokgung is some blocks to the east, which makes for a great day trip. Seoul has a good subway system with stations in most areas of the metropolitan area. The Gyeongbokgung subway station is located within a few steps from Gwanghwamun, whilst the Gwanghwamun subway station is just a block south and served by a different subway line.
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