When originally built in 1426, the gate was known as Hongnyemun. It was not renamed to Heungnyemun until 1867 when Gyeongbokgung Palace was rebuilt under the orders of Prince Regent Heungseon Daewongun.
When the Japanese built the General Government Building here in 1926, Heungnyemun was removed along with most of the other buildings and structures found at the palace.
Between 1995 and 1996, the General Government Building was dismantled and removed in an effort to remove any trace of the Japanese occupation.
In 2001, Heungnyemun Gate, and its surrounding cloisters were rebuilt and restored to its original specifications.
Those who wish to pass through Heungnyemun must have a ticket to enter Gyeongbokgung Palace.
If you wish to take photos with guards, you can often find them stationed just outside the gate. If they are not there, you can always find them out front of Gwanghwamun Gate.