South Korea in the Perspective of a Filipino Expatriate

Sunday, November 30, 2014

At Gwanghwamun (광화문에서)

In front of Gwanghwamun
KYUHYUN (규현) of Super Junior has recently went solo with the release of his first single entitled “At Gwanghwamun” (광화에서). Maybe some of you are wondering what is Gwanghwamun. If you have visited Korea at least once or if you are a little bit exposed to Korean history and culture, you probably knew about this place. I will tell you more about the song later after we find out more information about it.

Personally, Ganghwamun is a memorable place for me because this is where I first experienced wearing a Korean traditional clothing called “Hanbuk”. I have previously shared several stories about different gates of Seoul in this blog and Gwanghwamun is actually one of the 8 gates of Seoul. However, this one is the most special because this is the main and the largest gate to the most awesome and the most famous Gyeongbokgung Palace. I have also shared an itinerary to exploring Seoul in one day and that includes Gyeongbokgung, you might want to check it HERE.

Anyways, this gate is very special for Korea because this is a landmark and symbol of Korean history. If you will visit the place, you will get the feel of Joseon Dynasty. However, because of the multiple restoration and repair, the gate looks new and modernized.

The gate was originally built in the year 1395 and it plays very important role in protecting the Gyeongbokgung Palace, the royal palace during the Joseon Dynasty. During the Japanese war, it was destroyed and reconstructed in the year 1867. Throughout the time, the gate went through a lot of restoration and innovation. Today, Gwanghwamun is still standing tall and proud in the three intersection at the northern end of Sejongno.

Statue of King Sejong at Gwanghwamun Square

Not only that, a very wide area in front of the gate which is called Gwanghwamun Square is also open to the public for leisure. In front of the main gate, you can also witness the ceremony called “Changing of Guards” every hour from 10 AM to 3 PM. In general, this is a place where one can actually find out more about the history and culture of Korea and at the same time enjoy the different activities especially created for the tourists. I was not surprise that the place has been the inspiration of Kyuhyun’s newest single.

Changing of Guards ceremony


About the song “Gwanghwamuneso” or “At Gwanghwamun”, it is actually a story of a guy who recalls the memory of love that took place at Gwanghwamun. The place is very special for him because that is where they used to walk and hold hands and celebrate and share the love together. He also described how beautiful is the place especially when the season is changing from Summer to Autumn as the leaves of the trees at the sidewalk of Gwanghwamun are starting to change colors. Although he looks like a fool standing in front of Gwanghwamun under the rain waiting for her love to come back, he still feel happy because he can just recall the past when he shared memorable moments with the love of his life.



Watch the music video of “At Gwanghwamun” by Kyuhyun.  





Here is the direction to go to Gwanghwamun:

Take Subway Line Number 3(orange Line) and get off at Gyeongbokgung Station, go to exit number 5.

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