The Bustling Center of Korean History and Culture

Gwanghwamun Square


Gwanghwamun Square stretches just over a half-kilometer from the main gate of Gyeongbokgung Palace to the beginning of the famous Jongno street, cutting through the main boulevard at 35 meters wide. What was once the most chaotic street in all of Seoul, with traffic spanning over 16 lanes, has quieted down since the construction of Gwanghwamun Square in 2009, bringing some tranquility to what is arguably Korea’s most famous and iconic boulevard. The wide flat space of the square opens a majestic view of the stately palace and the steep Bugaksan Mountain behind it. Two most influential figures in Korean history stand guard over the capital’s heart: Admiral Yi Sun-shin – the protector of Korea; and Great King Sejong – the father of the nation.


Gwanghwamun Plaza has a long history, functioning as an important public space and road for centuries since the Joseon Dynasty. As Korea modernized, the boulevard became the largest and busiest road in all of Seoul, handling massive amounts of traffic over its 16 lanes, making it incredibly chaotic and quite hazardous for pedestrians. In an attempt to beautify the city center and make it more pedestrian-friendly, Seoul City Hall announced plans to put a plaza in the center of the boulevard. 


The number of traffic lanes was reduced from 16 to 10, and statues of the country’s two most important historical figures, Admiral Yi Sun-shin, who heavily defeated the invading Japanese forces at sea during the Imjin War (1592-1597), and King Sejong the Great, inventor of the hangeul alphabet and largely considered to be the greatest monarch of the Joseon Dynasty, were erected in the plaza. There are two exhibition halls located in an underground passageway beneath the plaza detailing the accomplishments of both men. A fountain was also installed at the southern end of the plaza, with small waterways on either side lining the length of the plaza. Gwanghwamun Plaza is a pleasant green space in the heart of central Seoul from where visitors can get a true feel for the city and its illustrious past. 


Company NameGwanghwamun Square (광화문광장)
Category Family & Living Fesfivals & Events Social Tour & Sightseeing
URLs Homepage

188 Sejong-daero, Sejongno, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea U.S. Embassy in Seoul Korea

Take Line 5 to Gwanghwamun Station and go out Exit 9 which leads directly to Gwanghwamun Square.

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