Heunginjimun Gate Trail
Excursions Along The Wall
Heunginjimun Gate Trail
- Heunginjimun Gate ~ Jangchung Gymnasium
- Distance: 1.8km / Away: about 1 hour
Heunginjimun Gate Trail
Section : Heunginjimun Gate ~ Jangchung Gymnasium
Distance : 1.8km
Away : about 1 hour
Discovering Traces of Hanyangdoseong: Heunginjimun Gate Section
The wall section under review here starts at Heunginjimun , passes Gwanghuimun Gate and extends as far as Jangchung Gymnasium. The stretch of wall around Heunginjimun is on the lowest ground of the entire wall. Thus, Ogansumun and Igansumun water gates (The water gates consisted of five arched and two arched gates) were built here to drain water from the city into the streams outside the wall.
Various military-related facilities were clustered here, too, including Hadogam (Sub Office of Hullyeondogam), Yeomchocheong (Dedartment of Gun Powder), Hullyeonwon (Military Training Ground). During the Daehan Empire, the streetcar line was built through here, followed by new streets and Gyeongseong Stadium in the Japanese colonial period. Then after liberation, the streets were widened and new homes were built in the area as well. All this construction activity caused most of the main wall structure to be removed during the past century, but now Igansumun water gate is being rebuilt on its original site, and the foundation remnants of Hadogam have been moved inside Dongdaemun History & Culture Park for public display. People who wish to visit this part of Hanyangdoseong may also stop in Dongdaemun Design Plaza or go shopping in the nearby Dongdaemun Market, Pyeonghwa Market and Bangsan Market.
• Notice : The path to Jangchung Gymnasium via Gwanghuimun Gate passes through a residential area, so please show consideration for the local residents.
[Heunginjimun] ❶❹ Dongdaemun Station Exit 6 or 7 → 1 minute on foot
[Dongdaemun History & Culture Park]
❶❹ Dongdaemun Station Exit 7 → 10 minutes on foot / ❷❹❺ Dongdaemun History & Culture Park Station Exit 2 → 2 minutes on foot
[Jangchung Gymnasium] ❸ Dongguk Univ. Station Exit 5 → 2 minutes on foot
Section main points
Heunginjimun is “East Gate” (Dongdaemun) of the wall. The current Heunginjimun was rebuilt in the sixth year of the reign of Emperor Gojong (1869). Regarding the topography of Seoul, the western part of the city is built on higher ground, while the eastern part is on low ground, so from a military perspective, Dongdaemun was the most vulnerable to attack. That is why the subsidiary wall were built outside Dongdaemun. In 1907, the walls on the right and left sides of the gate were demolished.
Dongdaemun Market was originally opened in 1905 under the name of Gwangjang Market, as the first privately-run urban market in Korea. After the Korean War, the commercial zone of the market continued expanding eastward along Cheonggyecheon Stream. Nowadays, this large market zone has become a hub of the international apparel and fashion industry. Central Asia Town, located opposite the National Medical Center, is an immigrant community inhabited by people from Russia, Uzbekistan, and elsewhere. Many of the local store signs are written in Cyrillic letters.
Site of Ogansumun Water Gate and Igansumun Water Gate
Igansumun (two-arched water gate) and site of Ogansumun Water Gate (five-arched water gate) were located between Heunginjimun and Gwanghuimun. As the ground level of this area was the lowest in Seoul, runoff from the four inner mountains flowed down outside the wall through these water gates. Igansumun, which was unearthed around the spectators’ seating in Dongdaemun Stadium, has been almost entirely preserved in its original form, but there are no remaining traces of Ogansumun.
Dongdaemun History & Culture Park
The Dongdaemun History & Culture Park was built on a site previously occupied by a military camp and a gunpowder factory around the end of Joseon. In 1925, the Japanese built the modern Gyeongseong Stadium, which, after Korea’s liberation from Japan, was renamed Seoul Stadium. Then, after the 1988 Seoul Olympics (the 24th Olympic Games), it was modernized and renamed Dongdaemun Stadium. During the dismantling of the stadium in 2007, some parts of a section of the wall, a two-arched water gate (to drain runoff from Namsan Mountain to outside the wall), battlements (projected part of the wall similar to fortress), and remains of old buildings were discovered at this site. The artifacts excavated from this site are on display at the Dongdaemun History Museum 1398 inside the Dongdaemun History & Culture Park.
Gwanghuimun is located southeast of Hanyangdoseong. Part of the gate was destroyed during the Japanese Colonial Period, and in the 1960’s, during a street expansion project, the remaining part was dismantled. Then, in 1975, the gate was rebuilt at the current location, some 15m south of its original position.
Jangchung-dong Residential Area
The wall disappears altogether in the residential area around Janchung-dong next to Gwanghuimun. In 1930, when the Oriental Development Company (established by Imperial Japan) developed this area for housing, some parts of this section of the wall were damaged. Years later, during the 1960s and ’70s, the construction of houses damaged the wall further.