Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Rise of Gwanghuimun Gate in Seoul

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A long long time ago, Seoul, the capital of South Korea, was surrounded by 8 gates. If you want to enter Seoul, you must pass through one of the eight gates. There are four big gates and four small gates and one of the small gates is the Gwanghuimun Gate which is located at the south of the fortress wall.

However, during the Japanese invasion, this gate has been destroyed. It was neglected because of the damage caused by war. In the year 1975, the restoration of this historical gate has begun. After 39 year of being protected by barbed wires and hibernation, Korea offer to the world the rise of the Gwanghuimun Gate. It is now proudly standing in the heart of Seoul open for anybody who is interested to reminisce and feel the earlier era of South Korea.




The Gwanghuimun Gate of Seoul


The Gwanghuimun Gate (광희문) was originally called SUGUMUN or "Water Channel Gate" in English. Later on, the name was changed into NAMSOMUN or "Small South Gate" in English and this is considered to be a "Corpse Gate" because this is where funeral processions passed through.

Nothing's really interesting about the place except for the sentimental association for the Korean war. It has become a mute witness of the history of Korea.

Entrance to the Gwanghuimun Gate


I tried to view the place as if I traveled back in time during its glorious era. I imagined how the Fortress wall stood strong to protect the City.

Inside the Gwanghuimun Gate

I was amazed with how they constructed the fortress wall because despite the fact that this gate has been destroyed during the war, the blocks of the wall remained in tact. If you will look closer, you can see some damages and burned parts, but still, for a wall that has been preserved for how many decades, I admire its strength and its capacity to withstand the test of time.


The Fortress Wall of Gwanghuimun Gate


Korea has been seriously working on the restoration of this gate. There's an area where tourists can just walk around the area, sit around and relax at the ambiance of this historical spot.

Around the Gwanghuimun Gate

Although some parts of the gate have been obviously rebuilt anew,at least you can still see the traditional Korean style of architecture.

Traditional Korean Architecture in Gwanghuimun Gate
The newly rebuilt Gwanghuimun gate may not be a strong head turner for some but it conveys a message of survival and strength.

Gwanghuimun Gate can be easily accessed by taking Subway Line Number 2 or 4 to Dongdaemun History and Culture Park. Take Exit Number 3 and you can see it one block away from the exit. The gate is open for visit 24 hours a day, 7 times a week and 365 days per year.

10 comments:

  1. Really looks like an interesting place to visit. I'm pretty much attracted to go to Korea to learn about their culture. They really did a good job exporting all the Korean pop and brands all over the world: food, cars, etc!

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  2. I am really saving hard for a plane ticket to Seoul. I'm thinking of getting few jobs on vacation since I have no students to teach that time. :)

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  3. Interesting history..i wanna go to South Korea someday..:)

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  4. Very interesting post!! Make me want to visit SoKor ASAP! ;) I wish Filipinos value and preserve the culture that we have like Koreans.

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    Replies
    1. I'm sure our Country do preserve our own culture too.

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  5. Very rich culture and history. Korea is one of the countries here in Asia that I plan to visit. :)

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  6. Nice blog! Went to Seoul few years back. Great city!

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