Donhwamun Gate

Donhwamun Gate, the main gate of Changdeokgung Palace
The main gate of Changdeokgung Palace

Donhwamun Gate is the main gate at the entrance of Changdeokgung. It was originally built in 1412 during the twelfth year of the reign of King Taejong. Taejong was the third Joseon Dynasty king and ruled from 1400 to 1418.

The gate was destroyed and set on fire by the Japanese during the Imjin War in 1592. It was rebuilt and restored to its current appearance from 1607 to 1609 during the reign of King Gwanghaegun.

The pavilion features a simple two story wooden design. According to records, in 1413, a 7.5 ton bronze bell was hung here but has since been removed.

The passageways that visitors use today were made in the 1890’s and originally were used only by royal vehicles. Today, the gate remains one of the oldest existing main palace gates.