Saturday, January 21, 2012

Gwanghwamun Square

After stopping by Changgyecheon, I continued up the main road to head towards Gwanghwamun and the central plaza in front of it. Caught a nice, big ad for Samsung's Smart TV here.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that Seoul had attempted to keep modern buildings from entirely obstructing the view of Gwanghwamun in the distance with the impressive Bugaksan mountain rising up behind it. Gwanghwamun is the main gate to the splendid and most impressive royal palace Gyeongbokgung.

An impressive-looking temple just at the corner of the plaza.

At the head of the plaza stands the immortal Admiral Yi Sun Sin (speaking of which, I should really watch that drama starring Lee Myung Min =P), one of the most famous figures in korean history. On the right is a picture of one of the turtle ships for which the admiral was known for improving and effectively using.

Behind the Admiral sits a golden statue of King Sejong the Great.  Sejong presided over the introduction of the hangul alphabet, a number of scientific and technological advances, strengthened the military and supported literature and literacy, leaving behind a long legacy of achievements. Watch Tree With Deep Roots if you want to get to know a bit more about Sejong's story.

A replica of an angbuilgu, a korean celestial globe invented during the reign of King Sejong which can indicate the time and the 24 seasons of the year, is also shown here.

Looking back southwards at the spacious plaza, we see the statue of the admiral standing tall amidst the rise of many surrounding office buildings.  If you do get a chance and its a nice sunny, breezy day like this one, try to do a walk up from City Hall all the way up to Gwanghwamun - its quite a pleasant and enjoyable walk.  And if you want to leave from Gwanghwamun by subway to somewhere else, there's a metro station conveniently located on the west side of the gate.

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