From the base of Namsan Mountain I went north up to Gwanghwamun Plaza. This public square was opened in 2009 and is often the site of various small expos. On Gwanghwamun Plaza you can find two statues of famous Koreans. Next to a series of fountains is the statue of Admiral Yi Sun-sin, whose warships played a major role in defeating the Japanese invasions of Korea in the late 1500s. Not too far from the admiral is a statue of King Sejon the Great sitting on his throne. King Sejon ruled in the 1400s and is credited with creating the Hangul alphabet that is still used in Korea today. At the north end of Gwanghwamun Plaza there’s also an “I Seoul U” sign that reminds me of the “I Amsterdam” sign in Amsterdam.
Just across the street from Gwanghwamun Plaza is Gyeongbokgung Palace. I was planning on entering Gyeongbokgung on a different day and at that point in the afternoon it wasn’t going to be open long enough for me to do a thorough visit so I didn’t purchase an entry ticket but I did pass through the southern gate and spent a couple of minutes inside the free area before moving on.