Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Restoration of Gwanghwamun Project

A new public square will be created in front of Gwanghwamun, the southern gate of Gyeongbok Palace, signaling a new round of construction projects that will reshape the landscape of the central part of Seoul.

The government has set aside 5 billion won for rebuilding Gwanghwamun's main structure, and details for other related projects like the restoration of the Seoul fortress will be announced later.

A new Gwanghwamun structure will be built from its original wood in the original location, far south in the area, by 2009..

The Cultural Heritage Administration plans to manage and protect the area systematically, while setting up various walking routes for the public on the mountain.

The restoration of Gwanghwamun will include the original structures like woldae and haetae sculpture. And a large public square will be constructed in the area covering where the Culture Ministry and U.S. Embassy are now located.

Woldae is a flight of stone steps that will heighten the majestic aspect of the new Gwanghwamun, and haetae sculpture is also one of the sacred mythical and auspicious guardians which Joseon Dynasty people believed would help ward off disasters.

The Cultural Heritage Administration is now working with the related government agencies to come up with detailed plans for the public square construction.

The current Gwanghwamun was restored in 1968 and placed in the wrong position, according to the historical documents. The new restoration will move the historic gate to its original place and also reduce the shape in accordance with the original design.

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