'benevolent' heunginjimun gate

heunginjimun-gateHeunginjimun as taken from across Jongno Road

heunginjimun or dongdaemun gate

Heunginjimun Gate is one of the four main gates of the old Seoul City (Hanyang). One of the famous landmarks due to its historical function.

Heunginjimun means “Gate of Rising Benevolence.”

It is a must-see old landmark in the area. I know that I have been here many times in the past, but this time I closely examined this artifact and took more photos.

After examining this gate, you can proceed up to the old city wall and hike further. Nearby is a dedicated museum: Seoul City Wall Museum.

The gate is available for sightseeing all year round. It was designated as Treasure No.1 in 1963 by the national government.

Also known as Dongdaemun Gate, Heunginjimun Gate used to house the relevant government facilities.

Literally, “Dongdaemun” means the great east gate. It was used as the main gate on the east side of the outer wall of Seoul City wall among the total of eight gates.

King Taejo constructed this gate during his 5th year in 1396. However, changes were made during the reign of King Danjong (1453). Again, it was rebuilt during the reign of King Gojong in 1869.

heunginjimun-gateDongdaemun as seen from the mountain

Great Structural Architecture

Heunginjimun Gate stands out when you reach the area. It has its own commanding look that you cannot ignore. It is conspicuous and beautiful as well.

The gate is a two-storied structure with a hipped roof. The roof has five front compartment and two side compartments.

The replica and the digital demonstration in the museum show how complex and complicated the roof when constructed. Layers and layers of materials (wood, mud, tiles, etc.) composed the whole roof.

dongdaemun-gateSide view of Heunginjimun

Aside from the other features, such as the sturdy granite columns, you will notice the half-moon shaped Ongseong behind the gate. It functions as a small protection wall of the gate (see photo)

Heunginjimun Gate is known to be the only one among the eight gates built with Ongseong. This indicates the high importance of the gate to protect the old Seoul City.

Ongseong structures are usually built to protect mountain fortresses just like those in Namhansanseong (Mountain Fortress) in Gyeonggi Province. Although they look different, however, they function or used in the same manner.

heunginjimun-gateHeunginjimun Gate (Dongdaemun Gate) - backside with Ongseong protective wall

Further Useful Information

Phone: +82-2-2148-1822
Parking Area: not available nearby
Entrance Fee: Free
Location: 288, Jong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul 서울특별시 종로구 종로 288 (종로6가)
Website: www.tour.jongno.go.kr  (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

Getting to Heunginjimun Gate

You can take any public (or private) transport to get there directly. However, the best way and the cheapest one is to take a subway

Take Seoul Subway Line 1 or 4 then go to Exit 6.

After exploring Heunginjimun Gate, you may proceed to visit more historical or commercial places nearby.

dongdaemun-design-plazaDongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP)

More Attractions and Sites Nearby

  • Dongdaemun Design Plaza
  • Dongdaemun History and Culture Park
  • Dongdaemun Market
  • Gyeonggyechon Stream (Park)
  • Seoul City Wall Museum
  • Old Seoul City Wall (Hanyandoseong)
  • Gansong Art Museum
  • Dongdaemun Stationery Store Street


Shopping Areas

  • Dongdaemun Shopping Complex
  • Dongdaemun Shopping Complex & Shopping Town
  • Doota (Department Store)
  • Doota Duty-Free


Hotels Nearby Dongdaemun Gate


Thanks for reading this article. Hope you have a pleasant journey.

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