Hyehwamun Gate is one four small gates found on the Fortress Wall that surrounds the city of Seoul. Hyehwamun literally means “Distribution of Wisdom Gate.” When originally built during the reign of King Taejo in 1396, it was known as Honghwamun.
In 1511, it was renamed to Hyehwamun because of a naming conflict with a similarly named gate built in 1483 at Changgyeonggung Palace. It is also known as Dongsomun, meaning “East Small Gate.”
Hyehwamun was regularly used by people needing to access the northern areas of the country. It was also important to these people because the nearby Sukjeongmun, was often closed.
In 1684 or 1744, a wooden gatehouse was constructed. It stood until 1928 when it was removed leaving just a stone archway similar to what is seen today.
During the Japanese occupation of Korea, Hyehwamun was completely removed and to make way for street car line.
In 1992, the gate was rebuilt slightly north of its original location.