Korean Language Blog

Korean Gates Posted by on Jun 18, 2011 in Culture

There are several famous Korean gates that serve as important landmarks and reminders of Korea’s history. The Independence Gate (독립문) is one of those gates that fall into this category. The Independence Gate is located in Seoul (서울). It commemorates Korea’s independence from China as a sovereign nation. The Indpendence Gate is made of granite and was inspired by the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. It was built in 1897 and to this day it is a proud reminder of Korea’s autonomy from other nations.

Gwanghwamun (광화문) is the largest gate of Gyeongbokgung Palace (경복궁). The Gate was partially destroyed and removed from its original location by two Japanese invasions, but it was repaired in August of last year. The Gate is now made of wood, which has to be maintained on a regular basis. The Gwanghwamun symbolizes one of the major eras of Korean history, which is the Joseon Era (조선시대). The Gwanghwamun Gate is located in Seoul and is there to serve as a reminder of Korea’s long history.

Another famous gate is the South Gate of Hwaseong Fortress. It is called Paldalmun (팔달문). The Paldalmun lies in the city of Suwon (수원). It’s located in the center of a busy road, so it’s very visible to passing cars. The South Gate also contains a bell that is decorated with a dragon’s tail and lotus flower. The inscription on the bell is in Sanskrit, which indicates that the bell may have been used in Buddhist ceremonies of the past.

Sungnyemun (숭례문) is also popularly known as Namdaemun (남대문) In 2008, the Gate was destroyed by an arsonist, but a newly repaired version of the Gate is scheduled to be revealed sometime next year. The picture on the left is a picture of Namdaemun before it was destroyed by fire. The reason why there are two names for this Gate is because Sungnyemun is the official Korean name for the Gate, but when Japanese soldiers invaded the area, they renamed it to Namdaemun.

You can’t really talk about Sungnyemun without talking about Heunginjimun (흥인지문), which is also referred to as Dongdaemun (동대문). Heungjinjimun means “Gate of Rising Benevolence” which the name Dongdaemun means “East Gate”. The name ‘East Gate’ refers to the fact that the Gate used to surround the eastern side of Seoul when it was first built. The Heungjinjimun is a major tourist attraction in Seoul because it is a famous landmark in Korea.


Keep learning Korean with us!

Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Try it Free Find it at your Library
Share this:
Pin it