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Sungnyemun Gate


2017-11-03 오후 4:15:10



Sungnyemun Gate is more commonly called Namdaemun meaning South Gate. It was built in 1398 (the 7th year of the reign of King Taejo, the founder of the Joseon Dynasty) after three years’ work. It went through a large-scale remodeling work in 1447 (the 29th year of King Sejong’s reign) and 1479. Sungnyemun Gate served as a main entrance to the capital. The King and officials greeted and saw off important foreign envoys here. When the King paid a visit to a place outside the capital, it was customary for him to return home through this gate. Sacrificial rites for rain or clear sky were also held here. The gate is composed of two-tiered wooden structure placed on the stone foundation with an arched gate in the center. A 1.17m-high brick wall is placed at the top of the stone foundation with a small gate on two sides. The wooden structure has clay bottom, with the exception of the center strip, which is made of wooden floor with “井”-shaped grid frames. The two-tiered roofs have double eaves. Placed on the descending ridge are various figurines including those of dragon head. Eagle head figurines are placed on both ends of the top ridge. The Gate is the largest one among the existing castle gates in the country. It was designated as National Treasure No.1 in 1962. In February 2008, the Gate was hit by arson attack. The entire second tier and part of the first tier of the wooden structure were destroyed. Two years later, rehabilitation work was started. Efforts were made to restore the parts tampered with during the Japanese Colonial Period. The rehabilitation work was completed in May 2013.

  • location 40, Sejong-daero, Jung-gu, Seoul (29, Namdaemun-ro 4-ga)



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