Sungnyemun Gate, front, 2013.jpg
The gate in 2013
Korean name
Revised RomanizationSungnyemun / Namdaemun
McCune–ReischauerSungnyemun / Namdaemun

Namdaemun (Hangul남대문; Hanja南大門, South Great Gate), officially known as the Sungnyemun (Hangul숭례문; Hanja崇禮門, Gate of Exalted Ceremonies), is one of the Eight Gates in the Fortress Wall of Seoul, South Korea, which surrounded the city in the Joseon dynasty. The gate is located in Jung-gu between Seoul Station and Seoul Plaza, with the historic 24-hour Namdaemun market next to the gate.

The gate, dating back to the 14th century, is a historic pagoda-style gateway, and is designated as the first National Treasure of South Korea.[1] It was once one of the three major gateways through Seoul's city walls which had a stone circuit of 18.2 kilometres (11.3 mi) and stood up to 6.1 metres (20 ft) high. It was first built in the last year of King Taejo of Joseon's reign in 1398, and rebuilt in 1447.

In 2008, the wooden pagoda atop the gate was severely damaged by arson. Restoration work on the gateway started in February 2010 and was completed on 29 April 2013. The gate was reopened on 4 May 2013.


The South Korean government, as written in hanja on the wooden structure, officially calls the landmark Sungnyemun (English: Gate of Exalted Ceremonies),[2] even though it has been more commonly known as Namdaemun (English: Great Southern Gate) since the Joseon dynasty. Most of people are thinking the name “Namdaemun” was changed forcibly by the Japanese Empire(colonial period ) and arguing that it should not be used. However, by following the annals of the Joseon Dynasty, naming and calling the 8 gates with the direction were slang terms. Thus, even they were slang, they've never been vestiges of the Japanese Colonial era.

Different from the other gates, Sungnyemun's tablet has its name written vertically. When the first king of the Joseon dynasty, Yi Seonggye (reign 1335-1408), constructed the capital city, he believed that fire would reach to Gyeongbokgung Palace, as well as to the capital city, as Mt. Gwanaksan of Seoul is shaped like fire according to feng shui principles. Sungnyemun's name means "fire", which is from the harmony of the Five Elements and, if written vertically, the Chinese character "fire" looks as if it is providing protection. This was Taejong's (1367–1422) first son, Yangnyeongdaegun's (1394-1462), famous writing.[3]

Other Languages
العربية: نامدايمن
Bân-lâm-gú: Chông-lé-mn̂g
čeština: Namdemun
Deutsch: Namdaemun
español: Namdaemun
Esperanto: Namdemun
euskara: Sungnyemun
français: Sungnyemun
贛語: 崇禮門
한국어: 숭례문
Bahasa Indonesia: Sungnyemun
italiano: Namdaemun
Basa Jawa: Sungnyemun
ქართული: ნამდემუნი
қазақша: Намдэмун
magyar: Namdemun
Nederlands: Sungnyemun
日本語: 崇礼門
norsk: Namdaemun
پنجابی: نامڈیمن
polski: Sungnyemun
português: Namdaemun
русский: Намдэмун
suomi: Sungnyemun
Tagalog: Sungnyemun
Türkçe: Namdaemun
Tiếng Việt: Sungnyemun
吴语: 崇礼门
粵語: 崇禮門
中文: 崇禮門