Heunginjimun (Gate of Rising Benevolence) is one of the Eight Gates of Seoul in the Fortress Wall of Seoul in central Seoul, South Korea. Heunginjimun is also known as Dongdaemun or “Great East Gate.” The gate is located at Jongno 6-ga in Jongno-gu.
Heunginjimun was first built by King Taejo during his fifth year of reign (1398) to protect Hanseongbu, which historically housed important government facilities. It was renovated during the reign of King Danjong in 1453 and was newly built in 1869 during the sixth year of King Gojong’s reign in 1869.
Heunginjimun features a hipped roof which has five front compartments and two side compartments on a two-storied building. The thin and weak bracket system supports the eaves and is excessively decorated, reflecting the architectural style of the late Joseon period. Outside of the fortress is the half-circle shaped Ongseong, a small wall, to protect the gate and to compensate the weakness of the target from multiple invaders. It is the only gate among Seoul’s eight gates to have Ongseong.
As of 2018, the area around Dongdaemun known as Dongdaemun Market has grown into one of the largest shopping center in South Korea, popular to both locals and foreigners.
Construction of the Dongdaemun Design Plaza, a major urban development landmark designed by Zaha Hadid, started in 2009 to renovate what used to be Dongdaemun Stadium (an amateur baseball park) and was officially inaugurated on March 2014. This landmark, also called the DDP, is the centerpiece of South Korea’s fashion hub and has since became a popular tourist destination and has been one of the main reasons for Seoul’s designation as World Design Capital in 2010.
How to get there
Heunginjimun is located at the intersection of subway lines 1 and 4, at Dongdaemun Station (동대문역). The gate is within easy reach of exit 1 or exits 6–10 of this station.