Gwanguimun Gate is said to be originally constructed in 1396, the 5th year of King Taejo, in the southeast of the capital city (Seoul). It was often referred to as Sugumun Gate (water channel gate) and was actually used as a Sigumun, literally meaning “corpse gate”, as funeral processions passed through this gate when exiting to the east.
During the Imjin War (Japanese invasion of Korea, 1592-1598), the fortress gate was destroyer to such a degree that it made finding the original location close to impossible. Nevertheless, rebuilding efforts were started in 1711 (37th year of King Sukjong) and the water channel gate was restored and a gate tower built. Gwanghuimun Gate remained intact even when the fortress walls were demolished to build tram tracks during the Japanese occupation, but it was damaged during the Korean War and left neglected. In 1975, restoration work was carried out to relocate Gwanghuimun Gate to a site 15 meters south of its original location since it stood in the middle of the road.
Designated as Historic Site No.10