Gwanghwamun Square is a public space in Sejongno, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea.
Serving as both a public space and a road for many centuries of Korean history, this square is historically significant due to the royal administrative buildings known as Yukjo-geori or Six Ministries Street. It is also decorated with statues of Admiral Lee Sun-sin of the Joseon Dynasty and King Sejong the Great of Joseon.
Gwanghwamun Square has a rich history and served as the central point of Seoul during the Joseon Dynasty.
However, during the Japanese colonial period, the square suffered from neglect, it also suffered during the Korean War and was turned into a 16-lane road in the 20th century.
In early February 2004, a new urban space was announced, designed for the convenience of pedestrians, to restore Gwanghwamun Square. The decision was part of the city’s plans for urban renewal and green renovation projects, along with projects for Namdaemun and Seoul Plaza.
In December 2006, additional plans to restore Gwanghwamun Square were announced. The project was carried out by the Korea Cultural Heritage Administration and was scheduled to be completed by August 2009.
Initially, construction on the square was supposed to start in February 2008, but it was delayed due to protests from the National Police Department, who feared that the square could become a venue for mass demonstrations. The start of construction took place on April 23, 2008, after the government decided that it would be a zone free from mass protests.