No trip to Seoul is complete without a trip to Gwanghwamun Square in the heart of the city. Not only are there two amazing statues with an underground exhibit, but in the summer they offer a nice cool place for the kidlets with water fountains to play in. For big boys and girls there always seems to be a medley of festivals and activities. In the cold months, it is still a nice and refreshing walk through the heart of the city with a warm cup of Starbucks.
How to get there: The easiest way to get there is to take the subway to Gwanghwamun Station (Line 5) and depart from Exit 4. Also, you can take the subway to Gyeongbokgung station (Line 3) and depart from Exit 6. In this case, you will start at the palace, so you will need to turn around and head towards the square. It’s huge, you really can’t miss it.
LP’s Description: LP describes the statues of Admiral Yi and King Sejong, as well as providing a brief history of each iconic Korean figure. They also mention the underground exhibit, but what they don’t mention is the activities that surround the square.
King Sejong Statue: The Great King Sejong, revered in the eyes of the Korean population sits proud atop of his throne with a book in one hand and a broad smile in the other. Best known for inventing hanguel, he is also credited for advancing Korea’s agricultural techniques and strengthening the Korean military. The statue was erected on October 9th in 2009, coincidently on Hanguel Day.
Admiral Yi Sun Shin Statue: The Great Admiral Shin fought off the Japanese army Imjin War with the mighty turtle ships (aka Geobukseon). What is interesting was that he was outnumbered and still managed to thwart the Japanese army into retreat. He is regarded as one of Korea’s greatest military leaders and his 17-meter statue in the heart of the city reflects the pride Korea has for their great general.
Who Should Visit Gwanghwamun Square: This is an excellent place to start to get some basic Korean historical insight. There is also a lot space for the kids to run around and in the summer, they can cool off in the fountains.
Who Should Avoid Gwanghwamun Square: Not exactly the most exciting exhibit to see, especially if you are one who tends to stay indoors.