중앙데일리

Is there a missing gate?

There’s no Bukdaemun, just Mount Bugak

June 27,2004
Here’s this week’s tip on Korean language and customs:

Q:
I heard that in the ancient capital of Korea, there were gates at all of the entrances to the city. I know about Namdaemun in the south, Seodaemun in the west and Dongdaemun in the east. But I’m curious as to what ever happened to Bukdaemun, the north gate?

A:
The ancient gates of modern Seoul were actually used in the old days. They surrounded Gyeongbok Palace, the seat of government power and the king’s residence during the Joseon Dynasty, situated just beneath Mount Bugak.

As part of the fortress walls protecting the royal palace against invasion by enemies, there were three grand doors: Dongdaemun in the east, Seodaemun in the west and, at the end of the boulevard now known as Gwanghwamun, Namdaemun in the south.

But there never was a north gate named Bukdaemun. Instead, the city and palace were protected by Mount Bugak, north of the city. According to ancient theory, Mount Bugak and the site at the foot of the mountain were believed to have good chi, or material force, symbolizing the protective strength and indefatigable spirit of the Korean people. The colonial-era building constructed on the palace grounds during Japanese rule was demolished in 1993.


dictionary dictionary | 프린트 메일로보내기 내블로그에 저장