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Coordinates: 37°34′05.68″N 126°58′08.31″E / 37.5682444°N 126.9689750°E / 37.5682444; 126.9689750

Donuimun Gate, Seoul, Korea.jpg
Donuimun, as photographed in 1904 by Horace Grant Underwood
Korean name
Revised RomanizationDonuimun

Donuimun (Hangul 돈의문, Hanja 敦義門; also known as West Gate) was one of the Eight Gates of Seoul in the Fortress Wall of Seoul, South Korea, which surrounded the city in the Joseon Dynasty. The gate's historical location is also known as Seodaemun (서대문, "West Big Gate").


Donuimun was originally built in 1396. It was burned as a result of the 16th century invasions by Japan, but was rebuilt in 1711.[1] In 1413(King Tajo 13),the gate was closed. In 1422(King Sejong 4)Donuimun gate was repaired. In 1711(King Sukjong 37)Donuimun Gate was rebuilt in 1711.[2] In 1915, the gate was again destroyed during the Japanese colonial period. The gate was photographed at various times before its destruction, most notably by in a series of photographs taken by Presbyterian missionary Horace Grant Underwood in 1904. Some of these photographs show the tracks of an "American Electric Tramway" running through the gate.

The name Donuimun means literally "Loyalty Gate."[3] It was one of the Four Great Gates in the Fortress Wall of Seoul.


Donuimun was demolished in 1915, during Japanese rule of Korea, in order to facilitate the construction of a tram line.[4] In 2009, Seoul Metropolitan Government announced plans to rebuild Donuimun, using maps from the Chosun era to the present day, in addition to conducting surveys and excavations.[4]

Officials originally envision the project to be complete by 2013,[4] but was delayed to 2022, due to budget issues.[5]

Currently, an art piece titled "Invisible Gate" stands over the Donuimun site.[6]


Donuimun Memorial, May 2012.
Donuimun Gate Memorial, Seoul, Korea
Donuimun Signboard, as represented on the current memorial.
Donuimun Signboard, Seoul, Korea
Back of Donuimun Memorial, May 2012.
Donuimun Gate Memorial Back, Seoul, Korea
Signage from back of Donuimun Memorial, May 2012.
Donuimun Gate Memorial Signage, Seoul, Korea
Donuimun sketch, ca. 1894.
Donuimun sketch, Seoul, Korea


  1. ^ "Seoul City to Restore Ancient West Gate". Chosun Ilbo.
  2. ^ "travel2seoul". Retrieved 1 December 2014.
  3. ^ "The Gates and Walls of Seoul". Korean News Today.
  4. ^ a b c "Seoul City to Restore Ancient West Gate". The Chosun Ilbo. 22 October 2009. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  5. ^ 日帝가 허문 '돈의문' 복원 불투명 (in Korean). Munhwa Ilbo. 2012-12-10. Retrieved 2013-04-30.
  6. ^ Seoul City Wall Guide Book. Seoul Metropolitan Government. p. 42. Retrieved 24 February 2018.