Gwanghwamun Square (광화문광장) and Gyeongbokgung Palace (경복궁) are ones of the most popular destinations in Seoul for both Koreans and international visitors. One place the visitors may miss when they visit this area lies underneath Gwanghwamun Square: The Story of King Sejong (세종이야기) and The Story of Admiral Yi Sunshin (충무공이야기) Exhibition Hall. This place will absolutely help you understand Korean culture and history better and appreciate them more.
175, Sejong-daero, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Subway: Line 3. Get off at Gyeongbokgung Station, exit No. 6 or Line 5, get off at Gwanghwamun Station, exit No. 1 or 8
Bus: at Sejong Culture Center, KT Gwanghwamun Office, or Gwanghwamun bus stop
– B main Line: No. 103, 109, 150, 401, 402, 408, 606, 607, 700, 704, 706, or 707
– G local Line: No. 1020, 1711, 7016, 7018, 7022, or 7212
– R megalopolis Line: No. 1005-1, 1500, 5500-1, 550-2, 9000, 9401, 9703, or 9710
10:00 – 18:30 (Last entry at 18:00)
Phone: +82 2-399-1000
Website: The Story of King Sejong website (Korean and English available)
Who is King Sejong The Great?
King Sejong The Great (세종대왕) was the fourth king in Joseon Dynasty. He achieved more than any other king through Korean history. His achievements during his reign range widely, but the creation of Hangul is not only his top achievement but it is considered the most important creation throughout Korean history. He is considered the most admired Korean among Koreans. Besides Hangul, other inventions or achievements during his time include Sundial, strong military presence on the border, Singijeon- the military weapon, Nongsajikseol, and more.
The Story of King Sejong Exhibition Hall
The Story of King Sejong is an exhibition hall located on the second basement floor of the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts. Visitors can find information about the king’s astonishing contributions to the burgeoning Joseon Dynasty and further Korean history.
The exhibition hall has seven sections:
Ideology Focused on the People
Invention of Hangul
Science & Art
So far more than one and a half million people have visited this place.
In addition to the exhibitions, visitors can also have a hands-on experience such as rubbing experience and experience of writing your own name in hangul with a brush.
The entrance to The Story of King Sejong is located behind the statue of King Sejong The Great.
Jeong Cheol wrote Samiingok (사미인곡). It is a famous historical Korean poem in the style of ‘Gasa’. TMI: Many Korean high school students consider this one as one of the hardest historical poems for Sueneung, Korean SAT.
Hunminjeongeum is the original name of hangul and it is the title of the book describing hangul.
This section explains how Hangul was created.
King Sejong The Great was a pioneer not only in Hangul and Korean literature but also in science. He and his fellow scientists achieved many scientific landmarks.
King Sejong The Great wanted to be independent on military and Singijeon (신기전) is a part of his efforts. It is one of his other inventions. It was a ballistic weapon that moves with wheels. The movie, ‘The Divine Weapon,’ tells the story of this historical event.
Things To Do near The Story of King Sejong
The Story of King Sejong is adjacent to The Story of Admiral Yi Sunshin (Chungmugong Iyagi/충무공 이야기). Admiral Yi Sunshin is one of the most admired Korean heroes for his victories against the Japanese navy during the Imjin war. The exhibit consists of eight experience zones related to the life of Admiral Yi Sunshin. The museum has the turtle war-ship created by Admiral Yi in 55% of the real size.
When you come up to the ground level, Gyeongbokgung Palace (경복궁) is right within a stone’s throw. Gyeongbokgung Palace is one of the best historical remains of Joseon Dynasty. This palace went through the whole history of Joseon Dynasty and it is absolutely worth visiting.
If you want to your own “Eat, Pray, Love,” or more like eat, shop, love, nearby Insadong (인사동) is the destination for you. The area is the synonym of a place for traditional Korean items and artworks. Also, you can have a bucket of options for Korean cuisine. Just across the street from Insadong stands Jogyesa Temple, which is the district head temple of the Jogye order in Seoul.