Gwanghwamun Gate is one of four gates that can be found along the 2,404 meters (7,887 feet) of walls surrounding Gyeongbokgung Palace. It is located in the south and is the main entrance into the palace.
The other three gates are Sinmumun, Geonchunmun, and Yeongchumun.
Construction began in 1395. It quickly became one of the most important gates of the Joseon Dynasty since it guarded the main palace. The gate consists of three entrances and a two story pavilion. At one time, it was guarded by watchtowers.
In 1592, it was destroyed by the Japanese during the Imjin War. In 1867, almost 250 years later, it was reconstructed along with Gyeongbokgung Palace.
In 1926, the Japanese who occupied Korea at the time, moved Gwanghwamun near the location of the present day National Folk Museum of Korea. They did this to make room for the new Japanese Governor General Building.
During the Korean War, the wooden gatehouse was destroyed once again. It was rebuilt using concrete and remained this way until 2006.
In August 2010, work began to restore Gwanghwamun to its original wooden specifications. This restoration work paid close attention to historical accuracy and location. On August 15, 2010, restoration was completed at a cost of 28 billion won ($24 million).