Independence Gate

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Independence Gate
Independence Gate (front), Seoul, South Korea
Korean name
Revised Romanization Dongnimmun
McCune–Reischauer Tongnimmun
The editorial of Independent News said congratulations for the independence of Korea from the rule of Qing (Philip Jaisohn(Seo Jae-pil), July 4, 1896)

The Independence Gate (독립문;獨立門) is a memorial gate located in Seoul, South Korea. The gate was built following the first Sino-Japanese war to inspire a spirit of independence away from previous Korean arrangement as a Chinese tributary state.[1] design of Seo Jae-pil.[2]

The congratulations for the independence of Korea from the rule of Qing


Korea was a vassal state of the Qing Dynasty for years. However, Korea has been able to be an independent nation in favor of God. Now, monarch of Korea has become an equal footing with world leaders. And Korean people has been so free people in the world. So I think there is no reason to ignore the auspicious thing like this. I think the symbol will be necessary in order to inform that Korea has been an independent for the world. And for the people of the next era, it will tell them that Korea has become independent from eternity at this time. Then, the Korean people should exercise and take a rest in fresh air and quiet and scenery place well.

Modern Korean(한국어)

조선이 몇 해를 청나라의 속국으로 있다가 하나님 덕에 독립이 되어 조선 대군주 폐하께서 지금은 세계의 제일 높은 임금들과 동등이 되시고, 조선 인민이 세계에서 자유로운 백성이 되었으니, 이런 경사를 그저 보고 지내는 것이 도리가 아니요, 조선 독립된 것을 세계에 광고도 하며, 또 조선 후생들에게도 이때에 조선이 분명하게 독립된 것을 전하자는 표적이 있어야 할 터이요. 또 조선 인민이 양생을 하려면 맑은 공기를 마셔야 할 터이요, 경치 좋고 맑은 데서 운동도 하여야 할지라.

- "Independent News" July 4, 1896 [3]

The Independence Gate was built to replace the Yeongeunmun Gate(영은문;迎恩門).,[4] which was a symbol of diplomatic relations between Korea and Qing Dynasty. To raise funds for the building, the Independence Club collected contributions. The two supporting pillars of Yeongeunmun Gate remain in front of the Independence Gate.

Construction of the gate began on November 21, 1896, and it was completed on November 20, 1897.

An image of the invitation to the groundbreaking ceremony for the Independence Gate

The design, by Seo Jae-pil, was modeled on the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. It measures 14.28 meters in height, 11.48 meters in width, and is made of approximately 1,850 pieces of granite.[1]

While the Independence Gate once straddled Tongil-ro, it was moved in 1979. to accommodate the construction of the Seongsan-ro. It now stands in the Independence Park, about 70 meters northwest from its original position. Photo showing the construction of Seongsan-ro Access to the gate was restricted for much of its history, but it was reopened following the completion of Seodaemun Independence Park on October 28, 2009. Visitors can now walk under the gate itself.[5]

Coordinates: 37°34′20.25″N 126°57′35.23″E / 37.5722917°N 126.9597861°E / 37.5722917; 126.9597861


Seodaemun Independence Park, including Independence Gate, is easily accessed from exits 4 or 5 of the Dongnimmun Station on Seoul Subway Line 3.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Pratt, Keith (2007). Everlasting Flower: A History of Korea. London: Reaktion Books. pp. 188–189. ISBN 978-1-86189-335-2. 
  2. ^ 역사속의 오늘-독립문 완공 imail 2007.11.20 (Korean)
  3. ^ A Study of Functionality of the “Symbol” on Nationalism in Modern Korea: Activities of the Independence Club and the Independence Arch(1896-1899) KIM, Yong Chan (Japanese language)
  4. ^ 독립문에 대한 오해와 진실 The Hanguk (Korean)
  5. ^ [1]