History Tour Course
The first itinerary of a city tour centered on Gwanghwamun Square starts from Cheongwadae Sarangchae. After exploring Cheongwadae Sarangchae, where you can find an exhibition on former presidents of Korea, you will arrive at the main royal palace of Joseon Dynasty – Gyeongbokgung Palace. On the way along Gwanghwamun Square, The National Museum of Korean Contemporary History is where one can find both modern and contemporary history of Korea, from the late nineteenth century to the present, at a glance. Take a look around Gwanghwamun Square where the Statues of Admiral Yi Sun-shin and King Sejong are located while feeling the vivacious energy of Seoul. From there, you can reach Cheonggye Plaza shortly after crossing the street in the direction of Cheonggyecheon Stream.
Cheongwadae Sarangchae is a comprehensive tour promotion hall where you can look around Korean culture and walk in the footsteps of former Korean presidents. The first floor is divided into the Gallery of Korean Culture and Tourism and the special exhibition room, where various themes are displayed throughout the year. Blue House Hall, located on the second floor, introduces the Blue House and former presidents while Happy World Hall shows the vision the government is aiming for.
Gyeongbokgung Palace was founded by King Taejo (Yi Seong-gye), the first king of the Joseon Dynasty. Gyeongbokgung Palace is also commonly referred to as the Northern Palace because its location is furthest north when compared to the neighboring palaces – Changdeokgung Palace (Eastern Palace) and Gyeonghuigung Palace (Western Palace). Gyeongbokgung Palace (Historical Site No. 117) is arguably the most beautiful, and remains the largest of all five palaces.
The National Museum of Korean Contemporary History is Korea’s first museum recording the nation’s comprehensive history from the late nineteenth century to the current time. Visitors can view Korea’s state of development through the four permanent exhibition halls and a Children’s Museum that offers special exhibitions throughout modern time’s history and educational and cultural programs is also available for students. In addition, visitors may catch a picturesque landscape view of Inwangsan Mountain, Seochon Village, Gyeongbokgung Palace and Gwanghwamun areas from the roof of the museum.
Gwanghwamun Square is located at the center of Sejong-ro with an approximate scale of 555m by 34m in length and width respectively. The symbolic icons of the square are the huge green grass patch, the statue of Statue of Admiral Yi Sun-shin and King Sejong Statue. Visitors may spend a fruitful time at the exhibition halls and galleries around the square.
At the entry point of Cheonggyecheon Stream, Cheonggye Plaza was established based on the design of traditional Korean bojagi (a colorful wrapping cloth), featuring the elegant beauty of traditional stonework that is colorful yet refined. People can fully enjoy nature within the city through a fountain that showcases the magnificent synchronicity of three colored lighting fixtures with a 4m-high, two-tiered waterfall installed here. Visitors can enjoy the fantastic display of light and water even at night. A ‘walking tour’ program where one can learn about the history of Cheonggyecheon Stream is currently in operation. Interested participants may make reservations online (www.cheonggyecheon.or.kr) at least 5 days prior to their planned visit.
Menu : Bugeo guk
(Dried Pollack Soup)
Phone : +82-2-777-3891
Menu : Guksu Jeongol
(Noodle Hot Pot)
Phone : +82-2-756-3249
Menu : Bibimbab, Yangnyeom Galbi
(Marinated Grilled Beef Ribs)
Phone : +82-2-774-2100
Phone : +82-2-2171-7000
Phone : +82-2-317-0404
Phone : +82-2-6730-8888
Cheongwadae Sarangchae is a space to learn about Korean culture and the history of former Korean presidents. The area is comprised of a planned exhibition hall where various special exhibitions are held, Korean culture exhibition hall, Korean food (hansik) promotion hall on the first floor and Cheongwadae Hall which introduces former Korean presidents and Haengboknuri Hall which presents the future vision of Korea on the second floor.
Built in 1395, Gyeongbokgung Palace is also commonly referred to as the Northern Palace because its location is furthest north when compared to the neighboring palaces of Changdeokgung (Eastern Palace) and Gyeonghuigung (Western Palace) Palace. Gyeongbokgung Palace is arguably the most beautiful, and remains the largest of all five palaces.
The premises were once destroyed by fire during the Imjin War (Japanese Invasions, 1592-1598). However, all of the palace buildings were later restored under the leadership of Heungseondaewongun during the reign of King Gojong (1852-1919).
Remarkably, the most representative edifices of the Joseon Dynasty, Gyeonghoeru Pavilion and Hyangwonjeong Pond have remained relatively intact. Woldae and the sculptures of Geunjeongjeon (The Royal Audience Chamber) represent past sculptures of contemporary art.
The National Palace Museum of Korea is located south of Heungnyemun Gate, and the National Folk Museum is located on the eastern side within Hyangwonjeong.
The National Museum of Korean Contemporary History is Korea's first museum recording the nation’s comprehensive history from the late nineteenth century to current time. It opened on December 26, 2012 and was established to share the nation’s history of going through all kinds of hardships and troubles by showing them with exhibitions, education, researching and developing and collecting materials. The museum is comprised of four exhibition halls; Prelude to the Republic of Korea, Foundation of the Republic of Korea, Development of the Republic of Korea, and Modernization of South Korea, toward the World. Korean History Dream Village features a hands-on program hall for children to learn modern and contemporary history. Also Children’s Museum offers special exhibitions throughout modern time’s history and educational and cultural programs for students.
On August 1st, 2009, the redesigned Gwanghwamun Square opened to the public. With the inauguration of the square, Sejong-ro, located at the center of the 600-year-old historic city of Seoul, was transformed into a human-centered space that harmonizes with the beautiful scenery of Gyeongbokgung Palace and Bukaksan Mountain.
The close to 20,000m2 Gwanghwamun Square is located at the center of Sejong-ro which connects Gwanghwamun Gate and Cheonggye Square. The square is divided into the sections, “Recovering the History of Gwanghwamun Gate Plaza,” “Reenacting Yukjo Street Plaza,” “Korea Main Plaza,” “Civil Participation Urban Culture Plaza,” “Downtown Plaza” and “Cheonggyecheon Stream Connector.”
The “Recovering the History of Gwanghwamun Gate Plaza” section is at the entrance of the plaza, where a stone base called Woldae and a statue of Haetae, a mythical unicorn-lion that is said to protect palaces from fire, have been restored. Near Sejong-ro Park is “Reenacting Yukjo Street Plaza” where Yukjo Street, the main street of old Seoul (Formally known as Hanyang) was recreated. On the side is also a miniature depiction of Yukjo Street.
The Statue of King Sejong the Great has been relocated in the “Korea Main Plaza” where Hangeul, the Korean alphabet, is projected on a fountain water screen. Between the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts and the Statue of Admiral Yi Sun-Shin is the “Civil Participation Urban Culture Plaza” with a range of attractions and services including accommodation facilities for visitors, exhibition halls, elevators, a meeting plaza, and art galleries.
“Downtown Plaza,” located near the Statue of Admiral Yi Sun-Shin, symbolizes Sejong-ro. The Square has water facilities such as a pond and pop-jet fountains. The “Cheonggyecheon Stream Connector” functions as a connecting walking path between Cheonggyecheon Stream and Gyeongbokgung Palace.
In addition, there is the “Memorial Waterway”, flowing underground water, which goes from both Gyeongbokgung and Gwanghwamun subway stations to Cheonggyecheon Stream. Plus, behind the Statue of Admiral Yi Sun-Shin is “Sunken Square” which connects Gwanghwamun subway station and the ground allowing people to access the Square more easily.
Two statues of Admiral Yi Sun-Shin and Sejong the Great, who are great and influential people in Korean history, are situated at Gwanghwamun Square where the beatification ceremony will take place. Visitors can see “Waterways of History” and “King Sejong Story” exhibitions, the latter of which highlights the achievements of King Sejong and history of Hangeul.
Until it was restored in 2005, Cheonggyecheon Stream existed only as a neglected waterway hidden by an overpass. Today, it has been transformed into a haven of natural beauty amidst the bustle of city life.
Narae Bridge, representing a butterfly in flight, and Gwanggyo Bridge, symbolizing the harmony of the past and future, are just two of the more than twenty beautiful bridges that cross the stream. The Rhythmic Wall Stream, lined with fine marble and sculptures, and Palseokdam adorn Cheonggyecheon Stream.
Cheonggyecheon Stream passes close to Deoksugung Palace, Seoul Plaza, the Sejong Center, Insa-dong Street, Changdeokgung Palace, and Changgyeonggung Palace, allowing visitors to easily visit major tourist sites after a leisure stroll along the stream.
Cheonggye Plaza roughly covers an area of 2,500 square meters, and is located at the starting point of Cheonggyecheon Stream. The square, created based on the design of traditional Korean bojagi (a colorful wrapping cloth), features the elegant beauty of traditional stonework that is colorful yet refined. The plaza also includes a model of Cheonggyecheon that provides visitors with a bird's-eye view of the formerly restored Cheonggyecheon Stream. At the plaza, there are plaques that provide detailed commentaries on the 22 bridges that span the stream, as well as a number of graceful fountains that add to the ambience of the area. The area commemorates the Cheonggyecheon Stream Restoration Project, and also symbolizes gathering, harmony, peace, and unity.
After the completion of Cheonggye Plaza, Seoul Metropolitan Government designated the area as a vehicle-free zone on holidays, providing more leisure space for pedestrians. Since then, the waterfront areas of Cheonggyecheon Stream, and the surrounding streets have become popular places for those seeking refreshment and a variety of cultural experiences. A favorite of many is the Candle Fountain, which features the magnificent synchronicity of three different lighting fixtures and a 4m high, two-tiered waterfall. Along the two sides of the waterfall are the Palseokdam wishing wells, made of 8 different stones from each of the nation's 8 provinces.
Cheonggye Plaza never goes to sleep; visitors can enjoy the fantastic display of light and water even at night.