Tours

Hangeul Gaon Street Course: The Birthplace of the Korean Alphabet

See & Do Tours

 
[서울 스토리텔링] 이야기를 잇는 세종대로와 한글가온길


Gaon is an old Korean word that means “center” or “in the middle.” The Hangeul (Korean alphabet) Gaon Street is located in Jongno-gu district and is situated next to Gyeongbokgung Palace, where the Korean alphabet was created. The Hangeul Gaon Street is also home to the headquarters of the Korean Language Society and the site of Hangeul scholar and independence activist Ju Si-gyeong’s residence. The street begins at Sejong-daero (“daero” meaning “street” in Korean), which stretches from Gwanghwamun (Gate), past the statue of King Sejong the Great, and all the way to Sungnyemun (Gate). Let’s take a closer look at Hangeul Gaon Street, which filled with stories about Hangeul.
한성백제 왕성 이야기 탐방로
 
Course Guide

The Story of King Sejong the Great (Statue of King Sejong the Great) – Gwanghwamun Square – Gyeongbokgung Palace – Sejongno Park – Sejong Center – Sejong Art Garden – The Salvation Army Office Building – The Korean Language Society – Doryeom Green Square – Yongbieocheon – Site of the Wongaksa – Seoul Museum of History (total length 2.5km / 40 minutes' walk)
 
The Statue of King Sejong the Great and the King's Story
세종대왕 동상 지하에 숨겨진 한글이야기

위치 Location 175, Sejong-daero, Jongno-gu, Seoul(underneath the statue of King Sejong the Great at Gwanghwamun Square)

소개 Introduction Introduction The Story behind Hangul Hidden Under the Statue

 Standing in the middle of Sejong-daero and Gwanghwamun Square is the statue of King Sejong the Great, the man behind the   creation of Hangeul.. The Story of King Sejong the Great features exhibitions of Hangeul and the King, and fun activities,             including transcribing old Hangeul literature and Hangeul themed arts and crafts.

시간 Open Hours 10:30 – 22:30 Tuesdays to Sundays 비용 Entrance Fee Free

교통정보 How to Get There 
Walk out of Gwanghwamun Station (Line 5) exit 9, then walk to the rear of the statue of King Sejong the Great.



Interesting Historic Facts "When was Sejong-daero built?"

On August 11, 1394, Yi Seong-gye, the founder of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1897) later to become King Taejo, declared Hanyang (now Seoul) the capital of his new kingdom. It is said that he would gaze intently at the area now occupied by Gyeongbokgung (Palace) and Sejong-daero from the foot of Bugaksan (Mountain) to the north. He was convinced that this plot of land would bring in good fortune, thus commanded his new palace to be built there. Prior to construction of the palace, the area was nothing more than a wetland covered with alder trees.
While King Taejo was set on constructing Gyeongbokgung Palace to officially establish Hanyang as Joseon’s capital city, his son and successor, King Taejong, was more focused on building a new thriving city around the royal palace. He hired 2,035 workers for two years and seven months from February 15, 1412 to September 10, 1414 to construct Hanyang’s infrastructure.
Sejong-daero (“daero” meaning “street” in Korean) was converted into the wide street we are familiar with today back in 1426, after Hanyang was burnt to the ground in a large fire. Prior to then, buildings were all clustered together with no clear boundaries between streets and homes. Even the smallest fires would cause tremendous property damage. When nearly a third of all homes in Hanyang were burnt down in the Great Fire of 1426, King Sejong the Great, the son of King Taejong, made it a point to divide the city into districts with wide streets.
On April 18, 1431, King Sejong the Great looked upon the newly rebuilt city from Gwanghwamun Gate with a smile of content on his face. Thirteen years into his reign, what is now known as Sejong-daero had finally taken shape.
King Sejong named Gwanghwamun (“gwang” meaning “righteous”; “hwa” meaning “to spread”; “mun” meaning “door”) Gate in the hope that it would allow good policies to spread all over the world. Back in his time, the streets were filled with government offices, with Gwanghwamun Gate at the center. There were a total of six government bureaus, each of which was located east or west of the gate.. The street was named after the King because it is said to have been close to the Junsubang Chamber, the room in which King Sejong was born. The street, the widest in the Republic of Korea, is 100 meters wide and 600 meters long.

 
 
Ganghwamun Square
왼쪽은 이순신동상 오른쪽은 광화문 대로 배경

위치 Location Location Sejong-daero, Jongno-gu, Seoul

소개Introduction A Square Filled with Stories of Hangeul

An old man with white hair makes a sour face as he holds his breath for a dramatic effect. He then blurts out,
“the thief decided to leave his stolen goods behind. Suddenly… !”
Onlookers, young and old, gulp as they wait for the old man to continue the story. All of a sudden the old man flops to the ground and stares at the crowd. The crowd throws some coins at the old man. Only then will he continue his story.
By the 18th century, Hangeul was widely used among commoners. Numerous story books written in Hangeul flooded the market. There were new stories eager to be told all over the Joseon. Some people in Hanyang even made a living by reading the books aloud in public.
These people were called Jeongisu. People would form large crowds around them, eager to hear them tell a story. They were so good at what they did that, according to one historical document, an onlooker became so immersed in the story that he struck the storyteller when the protagonist died.

 
Gyeongbokgung Palace
왼쪽 경복궁 가운데 경희루 오른쪽 경복궁 전경

위치 Location 161, Sajik-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul

소개 Introduction Hangeul, the Rocky Beginnings of a Great Alphabet

Hangeul was created at Gyeongbokgung Palace.
The Korean alphabet has been praised as the ‘ideal alphabet’ by a number of internationally acclaimed linguists. But Hangeul had a rough beginning. Back then, members of the ruling elite were determined to maintain their close ties with Chinese culture.
Even after the publication of Hunminjeongeum (The Correct/Proper Sounds for the Instruction of the People), the king’s vassals opposed the use of Hangeul. One day, the dissenting vassals were summoned to the palace one after another. They each received a document stating their offense, but alas, none of them was able to read it. The document was written in Hangeul. The vassals had no choice but to learn how to read Hangeul to prove their innocence. This was part of King Sejong the Great’s strategy to spread the use of Hangeul.

시간 Open Hours 
January, February, November, December: 09:00 – 17:00 / March, April, May, September, October: 09:00 – 18:00 / June, July, August: 09:00 – 18:30

비용 Entrance Fee
Adults (25-64 years of age): KRW 3,000 / Children and Young Adults (under 25 years of age): Free



Interesting Historic Facts "Where was Hunminjeongeum created?"

Hangeul is the twelfth most commonly used language in the world. Another interesting fact about Hangeul is that it has clear origins.
Where, then, was Hunminjeongeum created? According to the conventional theory, it was created at the Jiphyeonjeon, an academy for high-flying scholars. Some contemporary scholars claim that Hangeul was created at the Eunmuncheong, a secret language division. Although Koreans are usually taught that Hangeul was commissioned and created by King Sejong with the help of scholars working at the Jiphyeonjeon, recent studies point to the monk Shinmidaesa, Princess Jeongui, and King Sejong’s sons as more likely supporters than Jiphyeonjeon scholars. Whichever theory is true, Hangeul was created within the walls of Gyeongbokgung Palace.
 
 
Sejongno Park
세종로공원 돌의자

위치 Location Sejong-daero, Jongno-gu, Seoul

소개 ntroduction 11,172 Hangeul Combinations, 11,172 Stories

There is a small park, located on the right-hand side of the street if you face towards Gwanghwamun Square with your back against Gyeongbokgung Palace, where you will come across all the Korean letters you can think of.
he number of possible permutations of Hangeul letters is 11,172!
Visit the Hangeul Geulja Madang (Hangeul Letter Garden) inside Sejongno Park to see all 11,172 combinations. It is said that the language and alphabet reflect the people’s spirit and mentality. Each letter contains the story of the person who wrote it.
You will come across personal stories and messages such as, “a loving sister who would like to leave a message for her sibling” or, “a letter from a homesick overseas Korean.” Capture the QR code next to the letter with your smart phone to get to know more about the person who left the message. Why not spend some time getting to know these people a little better?


 
Come out, come out, wherever you are! Find the hidden Hangeul characters! – Hide and Seek with Korean 1/2

작품명  생각채우기 작가 조현Hangeul-themed art works have been placed here and there along Seong Daero Street and Hangeul Gaon Street. If you keep an eye out, you might be able to find all eighteen pieces. These art works will make your walk along these historic streets more interesting. Be the first in your group to spot them all!
If you are heading towards Gyeongbokgung Palace from the Hangeul Geulja Madang, pay extra attention to the ground. You will notice a metal plate with engraved punctuation marks. What would you write between the brackets and quotation marks?
Title : Saenggak Chaeugi (Filling in Thoughts) Artist : Jo Hyeon

작품명 : 생각채우기 작가명 : 조현



Come out, come out, wherever you are! Find the hidden Hangeul characters! – Hide and Seek with Korean 2
작품명 Molecule 작가명 이충호

You will notice strange geometric shapes carved into the stone flower beds next to Filling in Thoughts. According to the artist, these too are Hangeul! Consider it a little Hangeul quiz. Combine the consonants and vowels that correspond to the numbers in the circle. Can you tell what it says?
Title : Molecule –b Artist : Lee Chung-ho
 

 
Sejong Center
세종문화회관 전경 및 야경 회관 조명

위치 Location 175, Sejong-daero, Jongno-gu, Seoul

소개 Introduction A Theatre and a Gallery

After another day of intense concentration on the creation of Hangeul, King Sejong asked his servant to play the Korean zither. It was almost midnight when the king shouted, “Stop this instant!” He’d finally had an epiphany.
The King had perceived certain similarities between the musical scale and the movements of the mouth while he was humming along to the zither player’s tune. An accomplished musician himself, the great King applied his discovery to Hangeul.
The music that inspired the king still thrives today at the heart of 21st-century Seoul at the Sejong Center. As the name of the theatre and gallery implies, Sejong Center was dedicated to the great king’s cultural contributions to Korea.

 
Come out, come out, wherever you are! Find the hidden Hangeul characters! – Hide and Seek with Korean 3한글숨바꼭질 3

When you visit the Sejong Center you will notice, in the middle of the staircase leading to the main entrance, a statue of a man seated on a bench reading a book. Who is the man waiting for? The staircase at the Sejong Center is a popular meeting place and waiting area for people waiting for a show to start or simply waiting for the bus. You will find another piece of Hangeul-themed art piece right next to the sitting statue. 

Title : Geudaerul Gidarim (Waiting for You) 
Artist : Park Geum-jun
 
Sejong Art Garden (Site of Jangyewon)
세종예술의 정원 (장예원 터)

위치 Location Rear courtyard of the Sejong Center

소개 Introduction Hangeul, the Bridge between Nobles and Slaves

If you walk along the walls of the Sejong Center you will come across the Sejong Art Garden at the back of the building. It was once the site of an old government building, the Jangyewon. This bureau was in charge of slave related litigations. How did slaves to correspond with government officials at a time when the lower class barely received any education?
In October 1692, a nobleman named Song Gyu-ryeom wrote a letter in Hangeul to Gichuk, a slave who was farming his land. “Gichuk, you see here. How dare you refuse to pay me when you are farming on my property! If you continue to ignore my threats, you will pay for your insolence.” The landlord was so desperate that he was reduced to writing a letter in Hangeul for the slave Gichuk to read. The story shows that by the mid to late Joseon dynasty, Hangeul had become so widespread that even slaves could read and write in Hangeul.



Come out, come out, wherever you are! Find the hidden Hangeul characters! – Hide and Seek with Korean 4/5

작품명 음양오행 한글 작가명 김경선

Look for a metal plate while you enjoy the flowers and plants in the garden. The five core consonants of Hangeul (ㄱ,ㄴ,ㅁ,ㅅ,ㅇ) are placed in the positions of the 'five elements' according to the yin-yang theory, reflecting the importance of the invention. 

Title :Eumyangohaeng (Hangeul Yin-yang, the Five Elements, and Hangeul)
Artist : Kim Gyeong-seon


작품명 글꽃이 피었습니다. 작가명 강병인 
Once you've left the Sejong Art Garden and walked past exit no. 1 of Gwanghwamun Station, you will notice a glass elevator on the corner of the street. Stop there and look up at the building. There is a sculpture perched on its roof. The sight of the 'flower letter' sculpture against a clear blue sky creates a beautiful visual effect. The letters at the bottom of the sculpture read: "You are the flower and spring." 

Title : Gelkkochi Pieotseumnida (The Letter Flower)
Artist : Gang Byeong-in



Come out, come out, wherever you are! Find the hidden Hangeul characters! – Hide and Seek with Korean 6

작품명 안녕하세요 작가명 남정
Right across the street from The Letter Flower sculpture is a building called the Royal Building. At the corner of this building you will find short garden lights along the side of the road. Take a close look at the patterns. What do they remind you of? 



Title : Annyeonghaseyo (Hello) 
Artist : Nam Jeong
 


Come out, come out, wherever you are! Find hidden Hangeul characters! – Hide and Seek with Korean 7/8

작품명 나무처럼 자라는 한글 작가명 최준석
The Lawyer's Hall (or Byeonhosa Hoegwan in Korean) can be found across from the Royal Building, where you will find more Hangeul characters hidden among the trees.If you are able to spot the
Hangeul characters, then you have already mastered this particular version of hide and seek!


Title : Namucheoreom Jaraneun Hangeul (Hangeul that Grows Like Trees) 
Artist : Choi Junseok

작품명ㅈ이라 불리운 사나이 작가명 이성표Cross the street from the Lawyer's Hall and you will find yourself in front of the Sejong Building. A Man Called Jieut stands right before the building.
The sculpture represents the ordinary people who frequent the street.


Title : Jieut-ira Bullin Sanai (A Man Called Jieut)
Artist : : Lee Seong-pyo

 
The Salvation Army Office Building (Hangeul sib-Madang)
구세준 회관 건물 벽면 조형물

위치 Location 69, Saemunan-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul

소개 Introduction Hangul sib-madang, the Entrance of Hangeul Gaon Street

Once you get to Saemunan-ro 3-gil Street, take a left turn towards Sinmun-ro Street. At the end of the street you will see The Salvation Army Office Building, in front of which stands another Hangeul-themed statue.
The Joseon Dynasty dispatched a delegation of government officials to China. Once there, the envoys were surprised to find a Chinese man who knew how to write Hangeul.
"We must be careful not to leak important information during our time here. How does this man know Hangeul? Reveal yourself!”
Soon, a man named Ju Yang-U was arrested for teaching the Chinese how to write Hangeul.
"I was only teaching the Chinese because I find it rewarding! What is to become of me?”
Ju Yang-U thought he was being treated unfairly.
Ten stories related to Hangeul are displayed on the wall of the building. Did you know that Hangeul was used as a military code during the Japanese Invasion in 1592? You already know about poor Ju Yang-U, who was punished for teaching Hangeul to the Chinese. Now let’s learn what “Operation Malmoi’” was all about. The most dramatic and amusing stories from Hangeul’s 600-year history are displayed on the wall. It also marks the beginning of Hangeul Gaon Street.

 
The Korean Language Society
한글학회 건물 및 주시경 동상

위치 Location 69, Saemunan-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul

소개 Introduction Operation Malmoi

The Korean Language Society endured some hard times before it finally secured a place in this building. Founded by teachers at Hwimun Uisuk (now known as Whimoon High School), The Korean Language Society moved from building to building in Pyo-dong, Hwa-dong, Gwanhun-dong and seven other places. They had to carry around massive quantities of documents and materials every time they moved. Korea's first Minister of Justice, Lee In, took pity on the Society and donated his life savings and home to them so they could set up a permanent office. This led to a fundraising campaign that allowed them to purchase a building at 7, Saemunan-ro 3-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul on October 8, 1977. That is how the red brick building became the headquarters of The Korean Language Society. 
The main founding members of the Society were Ju Si-gyeong and Kim Jeong-jin. The organization started life as the 'Korean Studies Society' in 1908, but was renamed as the Baedal Malgeul Modeum (Baedal Language and Writing Group) in 1911. The group was again renamed Hanguelmo in 1913,followed by the 'Joseon Language Research Group' in 1931, and received its current name, The Korean Language Society, on September 1949. The Society is involved in a number of projects that include study of Korean language and writing with the goals of uniting Korea and further developing the country. They also lead Hangeul research projects and debate on proper word usage as well as carry out public campaigns to promote the healthy use of Hangeul. 

Let's go back in time to reflect on some of their past activities. In 1930, Korean suffering under the Japanese colonial rule was at its height. The Korean Language Society received piles of letters from Koreans in every corner of the country. 

"As you can see, I have listed the local dialect for you. If this helps you compile a Joseon Language Dictionary, I would be more than happy to assist you further. Please keep doing what you do."

The citation above is an excerpt from a letter sent bt a volunteer in Gilju who participated in 'Operation Malmoi'. He had added this encouraging message to the list of words he had put together from the local dialect.

Speaking and writing in Korean was prohibited under the Japanese rule. The Korean Language Society, then known as the Joseon Language Society, had been putting together a Korean dictionary in secret. 'Operation Malmoi' involved compiling Korean words collected from Koreans all over the nation. Once considered gone forever, the thirteen years' worth of manuscript, was miraculously recovered and published as The Great Dictionary or Daesajeon in Korean in 1957. The Korean Language Society made Hangeul Day a national holiday and published the draft for a unified spelling system. As you can see, the Society is just as passionate about researching Korean and offering educational opportunities as it was when it first took off as Korean Research Society.

 
Come out, come out, wherever you are! Find the hidden Hangeul characters! – Hide and Seek with Korean 9

작품명 한글벽돌 작가명 안지용Find the Korean characters hidden around The Korean Language Society's office building. Here's a hint; look around the building's flowerbeds. You will find a little secret hidden on the bricks. 
Title : Hangeul Bricks Artist :Ahn Ji-young






Come out, come out, wherever you are! Find the hidden Hangeul characters! – Hide and Seek with Korean 10

작품명 나는 한글이다 작가명 한재준Walk past the narrow corridor between The Korea Language Society's main building and the Underwood Education Center. Before you go any further, take a look at the top floor of The Korea Language Society building. You will notice some white Hangeul letters hanging from the roof. The letters read differently depending on the angle. 
Title : : Naneun Hangeul-ida (I Am Hangeul) Artist : Hang Jae-jun






Interesting Historic Facts "So Hangeul Day wasn't on October 9th?"

The members of The Korean Language Society celebrated the invention of Hangeul by declaring Hangeul Day. Originally, Hangeul Day was not held on October 9th as it is on the Korean calendar today. According to The Annals of King Sejong (Sejongsillok), Hangeul was proclaimed on the ninth month of the lunar calendar. Based on that record, the first Hangeul Day, or Gagya Day as it was then called, was celebrated on November 4, 1926. When Hunminjeongeum Haerye (the extended version of the original Hunminjeongeum), complete with records of the exact proclamation date, was discovered in 1940, Hangeul Day was moved to October 9th and has been celebrated on that day ever since. 


Come out, come out, wherever you are! Find the hidden Hangeul characters! – Hide and Seek with Korean 11/12
작품명 한글 소리꽃 작가명 민병걸Walk past the beautiful Oman Embassy building and Gyeonghuigung Palace. When you reach Shinhan Bank,pay extra attention to the flowerbeds. You will find some Hangeul letters displayed in harmony with the shrubs. 


Title : Hangeul Soriggot (Hangeul Sound Flowers) 
Artist : Min Byeong-geol

 
작품명 삶의나무 작가명 김영철You will notice a tree with a gash in its trunk. The bark torn from the tree is a symbol of life's hardships.

Title :Sarmui Namu (Tree of Life) 
Artist : Kim Yeong-cheol
 
 
 Doryeom Green Park
도렴녹지공원 및 호머헐버트 사진

위치  Location 54, Sejong-daero 23-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul

소개 Introduction Hulbert, Korean in Spirit

Once you get to Gyeonghuigung Achim sa-danji (King's Garden block #4) you will notice another park right across the road. There are plans to erect statues of Ju Si-gyeong and Homer Hulbert, two men who were dedicated to the research and development of Hangeul, in the park. 
Dr. Hulbert was an important figure in developing and promoting the use of Korean. Although a citizen of the United States, he is honored as an independence activist who contributed to Korea on July 2013. He claimed that Hangeul is the most scientific and ideal alphabet, and dedicated himself to raising awareness of Hangeul around the world. In his memoirs, Dr. Hulbert has this to say about the time he first learned Hangeul. "I was able to read and write Hangeul in just four days." Dr. Hulburt published a world geography textbook called Saminpalji in Hangeul only. He also wrote The History of Korea and published his research in A Comparative Grammar of Korean and Dravidian. 

He writes, "Joseon letters are far more efficient and convenient compared to Chinese. Yet it remains unknown and belittled by the public." Dr. Hulbert loved and cherished Hangeul more than any Korean. He was buried in Jeoldusan (Mountain) in Yanghwajin. His tombstone reads, "I would rather be buried in Korea than in Westminster Abbey."



Come out, come out, wherever you are! Find the hidden Hangeul characters! – Hide and Seek with Korean 13/14
작품명 단말모눈 작가명 송성재
There is a display attached to the pole of the streetlight at the park's entrance. It looks like a random display of Hangeul characters but if you look closely, you will notice a few words. See how many words you can find on the display. 


Title : Danmalmonun Artist : Song Seong-jae
작품명 바로당신 작가명 신동윤
You will notice a giant hand pointing at you from high up on the wall of the Daewoo Building's underground parking entrance on your way to the Site of Ju Si-gyeong's home from Doryeom Green Park. There is a secret hidden in the hand. To find out more, simply take a photo from under the hand. Remember to switch on the flash! 


Title : Baro Dangsin (It Is You) Artist : Shin Dong-yun

 
Come out, come out, wherever you are! Find the hidden Hangeul characters! – Hide and Seek with Korea 15

작품명 주시경 가로등 작가명 안상수
Once you have taken a picture, look up at the street lamp from where you are standing. You will see the Hangeul letters ' ㅈ','ㅅ','ㄱ' on a colorful signboard. Here's a hint; the board is actually a sign that points to the former home of the man who dedicated his life to Hangeul research. 


Title : Ju Si-gyeong Street Light Artist : Ahn Sang-su




Interesting Historic Facts "An Anecdote about Ju Si-gyeong – The Silent Injunction"

The following is a short anecdote that best depicts Ju Si-gyeong's disposition. 

On 14 May 1906, 4,000 students from 31 schools assembled at Hullyeonwon, which is now a park next to Dongdaemun Stadium, for a field day.

Not too long after the event had begun, the field day was brought to a halt by a dispute.

"This is unfair! What just happened was clearly foul play." "You just want to blame others for your mistake. What a coward!" "What did you call me?"
The dispute was about to turn into a huge brawl. Tension was in the air. The instructors tried to stop the students but it was too late. Fists were suddenly flying. Some students picked up rocks and sticks. Just as the fight was getting really out of hand, Ju Si-gyeong walked up the platform. He had a solemn look on his face, as always. Ju's stout, robust body gave him a commanding presence. He stood there on the platform quietly looking at the crowd. The scene of the quarrel grew quiet until there was complete silence. Soon the field day was on again as if nothing had happened. 

 
Yongbieocheonga (Site of Ju Si-gyeong's Home)
주시경 초사황 및 동상

위치 Location 36, Saemunan-ro 3-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul

소개 Introduction The Hangeul Research and Development Center and the Site of Ju Si-gyeon's Home

If you walk north along Saemunanro sam-gil Street you will find a building named Yongbieocheonga, which was named after the first book written entirely in Hangeul. It is a modern commercial-residential building, but it was built on the former site of scholar Ju Si-gyeong's home. 
Ju Si-gyeong's nickname was 'Ju-bottari' or 'bundle-Ju' because he always carried a large bundle of his own handwritten Hangeul books to teach Korean wherever he went. 

"Mr. Ju was a gifted teacher and educator. I learned geology and history from him. (omitted) Our classroom was dim and overcrowded. It wouldn't have been so strange if the students had snoozed through the lessons. But his classes were so intriguing that hardly anyone ever did."

This is an excerpt from a memoir written by one of Ju Si-gyeong's pupils. It is said that he barely had time to wipe the sweat from his forehead because he was eager to meet and teach more students all the time. He walked all over Jeong-dong, Namdaemun, and Jongno, going from one school to another in tiring succession. Ju Si-gyeong had to teach at sixteen schools all over Seoul for forty hours a week to make up for the shortage of teachers. 
Ju Si-gyeong lived in poverty because he asked for so little in return for his teachings. His five children lived in a small house already packed with books from wall to wall. A benefactor purchased a house in Ju's name as a show of support. That house served as the scholar's research office for many years. Unfortunately, in 11914, the great educator died in his home at the young age of 39.



Come out, come out, wherever you are! Find the hidden Hangeul characters! – Hide and Seek with Korean 16/17
작품명 윤동주서시 작가명 김주성
There is a plate printed with Poet Yun Dong-ju's Poem at the entrance to the Gwanghwamun Sidae Building near the Site of Ju Si-gyeong's Home. The poem is Seosi, the poet's best known work. The poem, written in aesthetic Korean characters, blends right in with the historic Hangeul street. 


Title : Yun Dong Ju Artist : Kim Ju-seong
작품명 숨.쉼 작가명 구슬기
Take a short break on the bench in front of the Gwanghwamun Sidae Building. Can you see the sparkling green characters? You will be able to spot two Hangeul letters if you look closely enough. Note that the letters are most noticeable from the 5 o'clock direction. 


Title : Sum. Suim (To Breathe) Artist : Gu Seul-gi

Come out, come out, wherever you are! Find the hidden Hangeul characters! – Hide and Seek with Korean 18
작품명 광화문연가 작가명 김경균
You will notice a decorated street light at the corner of the block where the Gwanghwamun Sidae Building is situated. Some may recognize them as the lyrics to a popular Korean song. "Everything becomes unrecognizable with time……." The song is Gwanghwamun Love Song (Gwanghwamun Yeonga) sung by Lee Mun-se. This is the last piece of the eighteen Hangeul-themed art works. 
Title : Gwanghwamun Yeonga (Gwanghwamun Love Song) 
Artist :Kim Gyeong-gyun


Before closing

We have now completed our tour around the historic Sejong-daero and Hangeul Gaon Street. The members of The Korean Language Society, Ju Si-gyeong and his pupils must have gazed up at the same Bugaksan (Mountain) during their time. Just imagine what the area would have been like before the emergence of high-rise buildings, when there were markets and taverns along both sides of the dusty road. 
Barely anything remains from those days in the bustling downtown nowadays, but we hope that the history and anecdotes that lie underneath Hangeul Gaon Street move and inspire the people who come to visit.