Gwanghwamun Square or 광화문광장 in Seoul, is one of the more picturesque places to visit in Seoul and attracts tourist and locals all year round. The main highlights of the square are the two Statues, one is of King Sejong the Great while the other is of Admiral Yi Sun-Sin.
Statues of King Sejong and Yi Sun-Sin
This statue is of Admiral Yi Sun-Sin /이순신 (1545 to 1598) sometimes written as Yi Sun-Shin. He is maybe Korea’s greatest and most famous naval commander, famed from his victories over the Japanese during the late 16th century. Both his actions as well as the statue remind you of Admiral Horatio Nelson, Nelson also has a statue in London where is can be seen standing looking down on everyone.
As you can see on the statues main body there is a illustration of a naval battle.
This second statue is of King Sejong the Great / 세종대왕 (1397 to 1450). The 3rd king of Joseon Dynasty has a revered history and is an ever present stamp on Korea today because of his support of the Hangul Alphabet, and his powerful leadership which at the time maintained Joseon rule. He can also be seen on both the ₩10,000 banknote.
On the side of the statue you can see the different original characters of the Korean (Hangul) alphabet, a couple of which are no longer used.
How to get there; the best way to get here is via subway to Gwanghwamun Station Line 6 and take either exit 3 or 4. You can also go to City Hall Station Lines 1 and 2, then take exit 2, then a short 5minute walk.
Also here is a Google Maps Link to you can plan your trip:
Other Local Attractions in the Gwanghwamun Square Area
This area of Seoul is full of different museums, temples, palaces as well as more of the main embassy’s including both the US and UK.
Right next to the statue’s and part of the Gwanghwamun Square is the, 40th Anniversary Monument of Gojong’s Enthronement, which is nothing special but makes a nice picture:
The main palace is of course Gyeongbokgung (One of the five grand palaces) and it can be found less than 10mintues walk straight after the statues and past the US embassy. Here is a picture of one of the Gyeongbokgung Palace gates and the large amount traffic outside it:
Finally you have the famous Insa-dong area which is a popular place for buying Souvenirs, antiques and food.
For more information on Gwanghwamun Square and the surrounding area, please check out this link: http://visitkorea.or.kr/enu/SI/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=929909
Tim & Jeonghye